“Cybercrime is not a game”, warns security firm


A recent report issued by The National Crime Agency revealed a worrying trend among young people who are turning to cybercrime.  With an average age of those arrested or cautioned of 17, some suspects are as young as just 12 years old.

The availability of easy-to-use hacking tools, a low risk of getting caught and a perception that hacking is a victimless crime is enticing young people to break the law in the online world in a way they wouldn’t contemplate in the real world.

While their motivation is rarely financial, they are often turning to cybercrime to prove their programming skills and technical capabilities to their peers.

Their motivation, according to EnterpriseRed CEO, Ian Kennedy-Compston, is irrelevant.  “Cybercrime is not a game”, he says.  “One in five British businesses has been hacked by cybercriminals in the past year.  From disruption to websites halting sales and service, malware paralysing communications and theft of customer data, this type of crime is anything but victimless.”

A recent report issued by the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, Action Fraud, suggested that UK businesses reported a 22 per cent increase in cyber-crime in the past year, resulting in more than £1 billion in losses.  While cybercrime often hits the news when it affects large organisations, like Talk Talk and Tesco, often the victims are smaller businesses, or SMEs.

Continues Kennedy-Compston “For SMEs, the impact of cybercrime can be catastrophic.  The cost of recovering from an attack often runs into thousands of pounds they can ill-afford and many never recover and cease trading altogether.  It’s the impact on these businesses and their employees and customers that these cybercriminals fail to understand.”

EnterpriseRed is calling for a tougher stance to be taken against cybercrime, with a greater focus on investigation, prosecution and tough penalties to act as a clear deterrent.  “We need to demonstrate the same intolerance to online crime as we do to other forms of it,” concludes Kennedy-Compston.  “Until we do, we’ll continue to see an increase in cybercrime and its serious economic and social impact.”