Welsh cyber crime showing rapid growth

A new survey has found that businesses and individuals in Wales are being targeted by more than twice the number of cyber attacks than in previous years.

Incidences of hacking, data loss or theft and malware infections have increased by over two thirds, according to e-Crime Wales.

Welsh businesses are believed to have been hit with a bill for about 373 million in total as a result of the increase, which will see the figures for 2010 reaching new heights.

A disgruntled ex-employee was the cause of a particularly high profile case in which his former manager was the subject of a cyber attack whilst out of the country. The employee managed to break into a company email account and then download private industry records detailing information collected over a decade and a half.

In this case the man responsible was apprehended and faced a prison sentence as a result of his actions, but many more cases go unpunished.

The boom in cyber crime in Wales since 2008 has resulted in regional police forces creating multiple divisions tasked with tackling data loss, theft and other cyber criminal activities. This is currently a unique approach that no other area in Europe has yet to emulate.

E-Crime Wales has found that Welsh businesses are particularly sensitive to the threat of cyber crime, with over 50 per cent of firms raising the amount they invest in data loss prevention this year.

Experts believe that Welsh businesses will be adapting their current policies and security measures as many more adopt cloud computing solutions, seeing them as a convenient alternative to in-house storage and protection.

E-Crime Wales’ Andrea Barnard said that the cyber criminals were always one step ahead because regulations and policies could stifle vendors and law enforcement agencies when it comes to protecting business data.

Protecting trade secrets and intellectual property that are pertinent to the running of a business and potentially valuable to rival organisations is a growing concern throughout the UK and the pressure on organisations to do so seems set to continue to rise.

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