The ONS released its annual Crime Statistics in England and Wales today
revealing a decline in computer misuse and computer virus offences. In case you’re planning to cover this news at all, please see below for comments in response from Mike Fenton, CEO at Redscan, the UK-based cyber security firm. Mike points to the current flaws in reporting cybercrime and highlights other numbers which suggest just how wrong the ONS numbers may be – including this story from the BBC
On the same day that the ONS claims there were 977,000 computer misuse incidents in the UK last year, media sources are reporting the existence of botnets capable of sending 30,000 extortion emails per hour. That’s 720,000 incidents per day from just one source, of which there are thousands. Something doesn’t add up.
The fact that the statistics include just 20,000 offences reported against businesses to the NFIB by Action Fraud also shows that the data is deeply flawed.
Until the reporting of computer misuse crime improves, data like this should be taken with a large pinch of salt. The fight against cyber threats is a key issue that businesses need to prioritise and misleading headlines don’t do anyone any favours.