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Job losses in serious crime agency puts security at risk.

SafeBoot : 04 December, 2007  (Technical Article)
Safeboot warns that the shedding of hundreds of jobs in the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency will stall developments in improving data security at a time when it is most needed.
In a year where there have been countless high-profile international security breaches - TJX, HMRC and Nationwide to name but a few - today's news that the Government is planning to shed up to 400 jobs from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) is alarming. Responsible for policing the UK's online security, reducing Soca's headcount would potentially put British business at risk and open our virtual borders to attack from international cyber-criminals.

Tom de Jongh, product manager at encryption specialist SafeBoot, fears for the future of the UK's online defences and believes that unless businesses start to take proactive measures to protect themselves from attack, Soca's role will be critical.

"In the last few days we have seen reports that personal data can be downloaded for a small fee and that the Information Commissioner has had his personal information accessed. In today's environment, cyber-crime is rife. Without proper policing, UK businesses would be oblivious to many of the threats facing them.

"Soca's role is critical in securing UK business. Over half of IT managers admit that workers ignore IT security policies and this should terrify business leaders across the nation. If their internal policies are being ignored, and workers are potentially leaving 'doors' wide open for cyber-criminals to exploit, what chance have businesses of staying secure? Companies need to invest in security tools that automatically and transparently protect corporate assets, thereby mitigating the risks that employees will unwittingly put on them. If businesses cannot get the basics right, then SOCA is their last-line of defence."

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