Chair of the NEBRC Board, Brian Dilley, the current Group Director of Fraud & Financial Crime Prevention for Lloyds Banking Group, reflects on cyber fraud in his blog below.
Fraud has been one of the most prevalent crimes in the UK since 2014 (1). You are now more likely to be the victim of fraud than any other crime and 54% of fraud incidents [reported to Action Fraud] in the year ending March 2019 were cyber-related (2).
Meanwhile, the press continues to be filled with stories of cyber-attacks and data breaches. So why do many organisations still think fraud and cyber are different things?
Fraud nowadays is largely committed online; a so-called cyber-enabled crime which can be increased in scale by using computers.
However, cyber-dependent crimes, which can only be committed through the use of online devices and where the devices are both the tool to commit the crime and the target of the crime, are also used to harvest data and information that is then used to socially engineer victims into parting with their money in Authorised Push Payment scams.
Whilst defences against cyber attacks are usually the remit of IT departments that have the skills to erect firewalls and other access controls within systems, it is essential that the sharing of intelligence, investigation and threat response to cyber and fraud is coordinated within organisations, and across police and intelligence agencies.
That is why it is welcome news to hear that, in August this year, the City of London Police Commissioner, Ian Dyson has been appointed as the National Police Lead for Cyber. This is in addition to the CoLP taking the lead nationally on fraud and economic crime, which includes delivering the UK's national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, Action Fraud.
Fraudsters have shown their adaptability during the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly changing the narrative of their crimes to PPE and Test and Trace, and creating a sense of urgency in victims that reduces their ability to think clearly. In addition, the threat picture has changed with a 62% (3) increase in contactless payments. Whilst the digital world has brought many positive changes, it has also connected cyber criminals, allowing them to work across different jurisdictions and target victims and beneficiaries in different countries, providing services to each other just as multi-national businesses would do.
Businesses and law enforcement need to be similarly joined up – sharing information safely and working together to deter, detect and disrupt the criminals at source, preventing crimes from occurring, and working together in the interests of the victims when it does occur.
The old adage of “prevention is better than cure” has never been more relevant. By leveraging the shared expertise there is a real opportunity to identify new and emerging global trends, so that we can better protect victims, improve our defences and educate consumers on how to protect themselves. Visit https://www.nebrcentre.co.uk/
(1) There has been an upward trend in the number of fraud offences referred to the NFIB in England and Wales, year ending March 2014 to year ending March 2019. Source: ONS.
(2) You are now more likely to be the victim of fraud than any other crime and 54% of fraud incidents [reported to Action Fraud] in the year ending March 2019 were cyber-related. Source: ONS.
(3) UK Finance reveals that contactless payments by debit card reached record levels in August, accounting for 62 per cent of all debit card transactions. Source: UK Finance.