The Home Office has announced a plan to bring together the skills of the police, industry experts and academics in a Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP) to help to stamp out cyber-crime.
Security minister James Brokenshire announced the partnership at BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, in a bid to ensure that police and other law enforcement agencies can stay one step ahead of online criminals.
"For too long the public's perception of cyber-crime has been a lone bedroom hacker stealing money from a bank account. But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling 'off-the-shelf' software to aid gangs in exploiting the public," he said.
'This government is committed to tackling this threat and we have already had great success. But we want to go further and through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the National Crime Agency and innovations such as the new CCRP, I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice," he added.
Graeme Stewart, director of public sector strategy at security firm McAfee, believes that the partnership is a positive move but hopes that the scheme will incorporate smaller organisations as well.
"We would like to see the scheme provide outreach to include smaller and SME organisations. This sector makes up the supply chains of large corporate and government organisations and therefore a substantial portion of their risk comes from this supply chain failing to understand the threat posed by nefarious cyber activity," he said.
Meanwhile, Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security at solutions provider Stonesoft, believes the initiative could show other European governments how best to prevent cyber-crime.
"If successful, the CCRP should lead as an example to other European nations. This opportunity could be the keystone in helping to propel the UK forward as a front-runner and driving force in tackling cybercrime within the region," he said.
David Emm, senior security researcher at security vendor Kaspersky Lab, believes that partnerships such as the CCRP are vital but that the UK should also work with other countries in sharing some of that knowledge in the fight against cybercrime.
"It's clear that fighting cybercrime today is no longer a job that any single entity can effectively perform by itself. Cybercrime transcends geopolitical borders, meaning attackers can target victims on the other side of the world. But law enforcement agencies have jurisdictional limits and are unable to conduct investigations alone across borders. So logically they should cooperate with their colleagues in other countries," Emm suggested.
But while China has offered to open discussions with the US on the issue of cyber security, detective chief superintendent Oliver Shaw of the Economic Crime division in the City of London Police Authority, has claimed that the force has absolutely no cooperation with Chinese authorities, in particular, despite the level of cybercrime emanating from the country.
The CCRP is yet another initiative launched by government as part of its Cyber Security Strategy. It comes after initiatives like Cyber Security for Business in which the government's spy agency, GCHQ, aims to help business leaders to tackle the growing threat of cyber-attacks and the set up of a ‘cyber reserve force' at the Ministry of Defence.
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