RSA’s approach to the cyber threat endorsed in new report


Last week, MPs sitting on the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee published their first ever report on e-crime.

RSA assisted the inquiry by sharing our cyber security expertise in formal evidence. In April, our Executive Chairman Art Coviello gave oral evidence to the committee. During his evidence Art praised the key elements of the UK government’s 4-year, £650 million national cyber security strategy, and called for more collaboration and information sharing between the public and private sectors – which as I have blogged previously – is essential to detect and respond to today’s advanced persistent threats. RSA also submitted written evidence when the inquiry first opened in the summer of 2012, and you can find transcripts of all our submissions to the committee here.

In their report, the MPs reinforced many of these points, concluding that a “21st century response” was needed to tackle this 21st century threat. Having the right skills, both within law enforcement, but also more widely among the general population, is also essential given that many cyber attacks are still reliant on traditional social engineering techniques.

But a key initial step, the MPs said, was to have “up to date and accurate” figures on the actual level of the e-crime threat, and how it was evolving, in order to improve public understanding of cyber security issues, and help policymakers respond to them proportionately.

Having an accurate picture of the level of online fraud was particularly important, the committee said, because the victims are often unaware they have been targeted, or reluctant to come forward, leaving criminals able to act with “impunity” and make significant profits through the sheer volume of their activities.

Given that RSA’s own Anti-Fraud Command Centre, which works around the clock to track and combat cyber threats, regularly collects and publishes such data, and actually discovered an online criminal group advertising “fraud as a service” on Facebook during the course of the committee’s inquiry, we would be very happy to contribute to building this understanding.

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