UK police forces increase cybercrime training, striking fear against fraudsters

Over 3,800 Police officers in Britain enrolled in cybercrime training, research from security specialists Veracode reveals. Offenders under the Computer Misuse Act should beware. This will strike terror in the Westminster Village

by the commentator on 13 May 2015 12:53

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Police forces across the UK have taken substantial steps to upskill their officers to investigate cybercrime, new research from Veracode using the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has revealed.

Offenders under the Computer Misuse Act, and the Fraud Act,  should beware as Action Fraud is also training officers to spot criminals abusing access to websites so as to commit fraud. Statutes of limitation are very long, and the new training will strike fear into guilty parties who think that they have got away with previous offences.

Westminster observers say such crimes are routine in the Westminster Village, and have been widely participated in and/or backed by registered charities, online outlets, law firms, and even members of parliament.

Of the 19 forces that responded, 3,829 police officers have undertaken specific cyber security training in 2015, a more than 100 times increase from five years ago (37 in 2010).

This surge in cyber skills training is reflective of the growing threat cybercriminals pose to British businesses, the government and members of the public. Members of the public can also be reassured that criminals will face detection, when previously they had assumed that they would not.

Chris Wysopal, co-founder, CISO and CTO at Veracode, welcomed the initiative to defend against the growing threat of cybercrime:

“These findings suggest how the growing threat of cybercrime has reached police officers working on the beat each and every day. It is vital that forces continue to invest in training officers to tackle this increasing danger to businesses and members of the public alike. 

“Collaboration is essential to stemming the tide of cybercrime sweeping the UK. Just as connectivity has forever changed business – mobile apps are now storefronts, employees work from coffee shops or any other hotspot, purchases can be made directly from internet connected devices in our homes – and this has also dramatically shifted how crimes are committed. 

“Application vulnerabilities in internet connected home automation devices have the power to turn what might have been a simple burglary into a regional theft ring stretching beyond a single community, perhaps even crossing local authority jurisdictions. A local police force skilled at identifying and remediating such an attack early on might prevent a costly escalation.

“While the cyber security training exercises are certainly a step in the right direction, we’re not yet at a point where there’s a cyber forensics expert attached to each local police force that businesses can turn to for help. Creating this faculty would certainly be of help to the over-stretched national units, such as the National Cyber Crime Unit, which currently handles most reported cybercrime inquiries.”

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