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News

e-crime task force breaks away from SOCA

Dns : 02 October, 2008  (Technical Article)
British Government to set up e-crime body to focus on crimes committed on the web in a move that breaks off from the original brief of the Serious Organised Crime Agency
The government has announced that it has given the go-ahead for a specialist task force to be set up to combat crime on the web. The proposal, which has the backing of the Association of Chief Police Officers, was submitted over a year ago and is now set to gain £3.5 milllion towards addressing e-crime and serious fraud.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency had originally absorbed the existing high crime tech unit, assigned to deal with business cases in 2006, but since that time the IT industry has experienced recurring difficulties in protecting sensitive data and defending the corporate network. Total funding for the security venture will span three years, during which a total of £7.4 million will be spent on tackling internet offences.

The news has been welcomed by many organisations who have long been seeking assistance with the increasingly sophisticated and dangerous threats plaguing virtually all business sectors. But the move still asks questions regarding businesses attitudes towards safeguarding their own data assets, especially as the unit will only come into effect as of spring 2009.

Lee Lawson, lead penetration tester at dns, a UK based security consultancy comments on the benefits of the new scheme and where companies fit in by devising an effective strategy of their own to avoid becoming e-crime casualties:

"Businesses will certainly be pleased with the new scheme, which will obviously serve as a deterrent to would be opportunists and groups involved in organised crime. The funding should enable swift action when dealing with fraud or serious security breaches, which may compromise sensitive information or network integrity. However, companies will need to continue to remain alert to their own threats, as this specialist unit is not a substitute for implementing critical safeguards."

"As the scheme will not come into effect until next year, companies will want to ensure that applications running over the web are fully secured, especially with increasingly new vulnerabilities that can hijack and cripple the corporate network. Hackers will still continue to test organisations security and in some cases succeed in getting through, damaging not only systems but equally important reputations. Companies therefore ought to see this e-crime unit as an added bonus and not for a moment begin to take for granted their own responsibility for network security. Organisations will also need to consider 'forensic readiness', especially if their aim is to have greater control and visibility over the entire network and react quickly and intelligently to threats. Only in this way can they ensure effective data loss prevention and implement proactive security policies that prevent intruders."

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