News: Most threats are coming from a few hundred international cyber criminals.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has released a sobering assessment of the state of cyber crime, saying that the UK is being ‘outpaced’ by the capabilities of criminals.
Estimating that cyber crime is costing the UK billions of pounds per year, the NCA found in its Cyber Crime Assessment 2016 that the most advanced and serious threats were coming from a few hundred international cyber criminals targeting UK businesses.
It cited ONS estimates that there were 2.46 million "cyber incidents" last year the biggest threat coming from this small group, but said that under-reporting was obscuring the full impact of cyber crime.
The NCA urged businesses to view cyber crime as a board-level responsibility and share intelligence amongst themselves and with law enforcement.
The NCA also said that 2015 saw significant increases in the threats from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks.
Jamie Saunders, Director NCA National Cyber Crime Unit, said that a "collaborative approach" would be needed to succeed.
"I hope that senior members of UK business, and not only those involved in the protection of their IT systems, take note of its contents and think seriously about ways that they can improve their defences and help law enforcement in the fight against cyber crime," Saunders added.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: "The NCA’s findings are a warning to all organisations that it is simply no longer enough to protect the perimeter of a corporate network.
He said that companies needed to develop an in-depth defence strategy, including how to minimise the impact of a breach.
"It’s also vital that businesses develop processes to restrict the room for manoeuvre of attackers," Emm said. "For example, not providing blanket admin access to all employees and segmenting the network to limit the scope of a breach."