Cybercrime Costs Britain up to £27B / $42B a Year, Report Finds

The UK's National Audit Office has released a "landscape review"

The United Kingdom’s National Audit Office has released a report called “The UK cyber security strategy: Landscape review.”

According to the study, in 2011, a total of 44 million cyberattacks were recorded in the UK. The estimated annual cost of cybercrime in the UK ranges between 18 billion GBP (21 billion EUR / $28 billion) and 27 billion GBP (31 billion EUR / $42 billion).

On the bright side, the National Audit Office reveals that since November 2011, when the government published its Cyber Security Strategy, some progress has been made.

For instance, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has repatriated the details of over 2.3 million compromised payment cards, not only in the UK, but also internationally. This has prevented a potential economic loss of 500 million GPB (580 million EUR / $780 million).

In addition, more than 46,000 reports of cybercrime have been made to Action Fraud by the public, totaling around 292 million GBP (338 million EUR / $455 million) worth of attempted fraud.

On the other hand, the spending watchdog says there are six key challenges that the government needs to face in order to “implant” the cyber security strategy.

The challenges are addressing the cyber security skills gap, tackling cybercrime and enforcing the law, the need to influence industry to promote and protect itself, increase awareness among users, and demonstrate value for money.

In addition, the government needs to be “more agile and joined-up.”

“The threat to cyber security is persistent and continually evolving. Business, government and the public must constantly be alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack,” Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, explained.

“It is good that the Government has articulated what success would look like at the end of the programme. It is crucial, in addition, that progress towards that point is in some form capable of being measured and value for money assessed.”

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