A new report has highlighted a home truth that many of us have doubtless suspected – that cybercriminals are outdoing the good guys when it comes to the likes of online fraud and scams.
The report from the National Crime Agency (NCA) observed that law enforcement bodies were losing the 'cyber arms race' with criminals, and that there needed to be a stronger partnership between authorities and businesses to better fight online crime.
Statistics from the ONS showed that some 2.46 million 'cyber incidents' occurred over the course of 2015, with 2.11 million victims of cybercrime in the UK, and 700,000 incidents of fraud.
Much of the most serious threat came from what the NCA described as a "few hundred international cybercriminals" operating organised rings who "target UK businesses to commit highly profitable malware-facilitated fraud".
However, the report noted that despite this, the majority of cybercriminals have relatively rudimentary technical skills, and their attacks are perpetrated with simple, easy-to-use malware kits sold in a growing online criminal marketplace.
If the UK wants to claw back ground in said 'cyber arms race', the NCA says collaborative action is needed from law enforcement, the government, industry regulators and business leaders.
The report stated: "Government, law enforcement and other bodies have increased efforts to tackle cybercrime. However, these efforts alone cannot, and will not, fully address the challenges presented by cybercrime."
It called for UK companies to make further contributions to the battle, and for business directors to challenge their IT security teams to go beyond the "minimum cyber security standards" to develop more robust policies.
In short, collective efforts are the way forward, and businesses tightening defences and lessening the chances of data breaches will be good for consumers and the reputation of these companies alike.