Cybercrime is getting out of control in the UK, report suggests

More than half of UK firms expect to be hit in the next two years

Cybercrime targeted at UK firms is the fastest growing area of economic crime perpetrated against businesses in this country, according to a new piece of research.

This is the PwC Global Economic Crime Survey 2016, which covered in excess of a hundred countries across the world, including Britain. It found that there's been an 11% rise in economic crime committed against UK businesses, with 55% of companies now affected in total.

That's much higher than the global rate of 36%, worryingly (the US, incidentally, is only slightly above average on 38%).

Cybercrime is the most concerning area, seeing the fastest growth of all economic crime in the UK, with a jump of 20% since 2014. In total, 44% of UK businesses which had been victims of economic crime in the last two years were affected by cybercrime. Again, that's much higher than the global average of 32%.

No response plan

51% of organisations in the UK said they expected to be hit by cybercrime in the next two years, meaning it will become the most common form of economic crime in this country. Despite this expectation, though, a third of UK organisations have no cyber-response plan worked out to help them cope if they are hit by a cyber-attack.

John Tracey, Forensics leader at PwC in the Midlands, commented: ""Hackers are now more ambitious than ever. Their aim goes beyond targeting financial information to include a company's 'crown jewels' – customer data and intellectual property information, the loss of which, can bring down an entire business."

The PwC survey also observed a decline in the amount of internal fraud committed by employees, with only 31% of businesses saying they had been affected by such incidents. However, there was a rise in fraud committed by senior management – crimes by "silver fraudsters" shot up from 7% to 18%.