As Cybercrime Prosecutions Fall Again, CLOUDSEC Offers Food for Thought

by Bharat Mistry

Policing the Wild West of the internet has never been an easy job, but as cyber-criminals get more organised and better equipped thanks to the dark web economy, it has become even harder. That’s especially true in the UK where austerity measures have had a major impact on police budgets. So it might not come as a surprise that new figures show a decline in the number of cybercrime prosecutions in the country, the second year in a row.

At Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC conference next month, experts from law enforcement and industry will come together to discuss what can be done. As we’ve shown in the past, public-private partnerships can produce some impressive results.

Police overwhelmed
There were only 47 prosecutions under the Computer Misuse Act and other relevant legislation last year, down 18% from the 57 in 2016, according to London-based law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. Yet organisations are under constant attack from cyberspace, resulting in damaging data breaches, ransomware outages, DDoS attacks, crypto-currency mining and more. Government research from earlier this year claimed 43% of UK businesses had suffered a breach or attack in the previous 12 months. And Trend Micro alone blocked over 66.4 billion threats in 2017.

RPC partner Richard Breavington claimed organisations can’t rely on prosecution of online offenders: as many are located outside the EU, or else effectively hidden via encryption and proxies. That means they need to take matters into their own hands by investing in comprehensive security and insurance.

“Police forces are doing their best with the resources they have but the scale of the problem means businesses cannot necessarily rely on the police to really help them when there is a cybercrime,” he claimed.

Unfortunately, police in the UK will always struggle to keep pace with the rapid evolution in the threat landscape and the ability of cyber-criminals to hide their tracks online. But by teaming up with experts from the private sector, there are opportunities to fill capability gaps, for example in global intelligence gathering.

Trend Micro has led from the front on this, with multiple initiatives and partnerships with law enforcement agencies over the years. A landmark Memorandum of Understanding with the National Crime Agency (NCA) signed several years ago even led to the successful prosecution earlier this year of an Essex man who pleaded guilty to creating crypting and Counter Anti-Virus (CAV) services.

It’s just one example of what can be achieved when private third-party experts are brought in to work side-by-side with police.

We’ll be discussing these challenges and opportunities at CLOUDSEC in London next month. A morning panel debate will see our VP of Security Research Rik Ferguson host what is shaping up to be a fascinating discussion with some leading law enforcement experts, including: Todd Renner, Assistant Legal Attaché, FBI London; Europol Senior Strategic Analyst, Nicole Samantha Van Der Meulen; a senior representative from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC); and former head of the Police National Cyber Crime Unit, Charlie McMurdie.

Last year saw a record attendance at the show and we’re expecting the same again for 2018. So book your place now and join the debate.

What: CLOUDSEC 2018
When: Tuesday 4 September
Where: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London


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