A new study claims that people in the UK are ‘surrendering to cybercriminals’ as the British Government fails to step in and provide police forces with the skills and resources required to pursue perpetrators.
According to The Great Cyber Surrender report, 73% of cybercrime victims did not get in touch with Government organisations that are in place to monitor and tackle cybercrime in the UK while 57% of victims that did found that they were unable to support them.
This is despite the 60% of Brits which said the Government could solve online frauds, leaving only 21% of people who say the British legal system does a good job of protecting them from online fraud.
Commissioned by Clario, a digital privacy and security company and conducted by Demos, a cross-party think-tank, the report investigates cybercrime, its impact on victims, cyber policy and digital policing by looking at responses from 2,000 people from the UK. The report also includes recommendations that the UK Government must implement to turn the tide on this growing issue by taking public experiences, behaviours and attitudes regarding cybersecurity and cybercrime into account.
The report claims to shine a light on how cybercrime victims are left dealing with feelings of powerlessness, violation and shame with no systematic attempt to combat cyber fraud at scale by the Government. Lack of understanding and action from the authorities has led victims being unsure of how to report these crimes, with only one in four Brits reporting online crimes to police. In Britain alone, one in five people have been a cybercrime victim, and yet the approach of both police and policymakers is so inadequate that it is tantamount to surrender, claims the report.
Says Scarlet Jeffers, VP of Experience, Clario:
“Unfortunately, the findings from The Great Cyber Surrender report show that people are not in safe hands when it comes to cybersecurity. Cyber policy and digital policing in the UK are woefully inadequate, leaving cybersecurity victims emotionally robbed and out of pocket with no support from those in place to protect them.”
“Despite cybercrime being a widely spread issue, most people do not know how to protect their digital identities which eventually has a massive impact on their real lives. Yet, the British Government has failed to implement policies that protect consumers, and they are left to suffer the consequences without support or compensation.”
Clario and Demos consulted with eleven experts from law enforcement, academia, NGOs, the private sector and government to put forward recommendations that will drastically improve the state of cybersecurity in the UK.
Key recommendations from The Great Cyber Surrender report includes:
- Establish and promote a National Reporting Hotline for fraud and cybercrime, with a simple three-digit number, e.g. ‘119 for Cybercrime.’
- Establish a National Fraud Taskforce, staffed with specialist investigators, with responsibility for investigating cybercrime cases.
- Legally oblige banks to pass anonymised information to the new National Reporting Hotline, whenever their customers are victimised by cybercrime.
- Establish a legal duty that, whenever a data breach occurs, businesses must provide customers with timely, step-by-step guidance on how to protect themselves.
- Mandate basic cybersecurity education within schools.