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Cyber crime numbers reveal a huge year-on-year increase

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January 20, 2017

On average, cyber crime numbers in Britain and elsewhere reveal a large year-on-year increase.

Some say that the rise is due to the inclusion of fraud incidents and computer misuse offences for the first time, even if some may not agree with that statement.

In a report published this week, the British Office for National Statistics say there were 6.2 million reported cybercrime incidents in the twelve months to September 2016 in England and Wales.

That number is virtually unchanged from 2015's figures. The Office have now thrown fraud and hacking crimes into the mix. When the criteria for what's included in the stats were drawn up decades ago, "fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented," said the Office's John Flatley.

That's no longer the case, needless to say. When you include 3.6 million cases of internet fraud and 2 million computer misuse offences, that 6.2 million figure jumps to 11.8 million. That's a 90 percent surge in illegal computer activity.

The mere fact that computer crime and fraud are now being included may make people and organizations more aware of the threat, according to Huntsman Security.

Piers Wilson, head of product management at Huntsman, told IT Direction: “Including cybercrime in regular crime numbers might lead to a dramatic increase in 2017, but over time it can only be a good thing. We will get a much more realistic view of the extent of such crimes, leading to a greater understanding of how to identify, prioritise and individually address them.”

'TONS' crime reports have been produced every year for the past 35 years. The numbers cover England and Wales, not Scotland and Northern Ireland because those two still maintain separate judicial and policing regimes.

Other internet security and cybercrime experts would most likely agree to similar numbers as to the overall increase in online criminial incidents in other jurisdictions and in other countries. We'll keep you updated as to other internet security news as they happen.

Source: The British Office for National Statistics.

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