Cybercrime Losses Triple to £1.3bn in 1H 2021

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Individuals and organizations lost three times more money to cybercrime and fraud in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2020, as incidents soared, according to new figures.

The data comes from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which collects reports of cybercrime and fraud from Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting center for such crimes.

It revealed that between January 1 and July 31 2020, victims lost £414.7m to cybercrime and fraud. However, the figure surged to £1.3bn for the same period in 2021.

This can be partly explained by the huge increase in cases from last year to this. In the first half of 2020, there were just 39,160 reported to Action Fraud, versus 289,437 in the first six months of 2021.

In both periods, individuals comprised the vast majority of cases and the majority of losses. However, organizations lost 6.6 times more money in the first half of 2021 compared to 1H 2020, while individual victims lost 2.6 times more during the period.

Experts urged the government to do more to educate individuals about the dangers of phishing and the importance of cybersecurity best practices and argued that organizations should be more proactive in mitigating home working risks.

“The pandemic has opened up many opportunities for malicious hackers to intercept individuals, remote workers and businesses as we have been thrown out of our usual routines and away from the safety of corporate firewalls. For many businesses, the rush to move their products and services online, or into the cloud, has left the door open as cybersecurity took a back seat to business continuity,” explained Outpost24 CSO, Martin Jartelius.

“Across the country, millions of people have switched to work from home and remain digital-only for the past 18 months. This gives hackers the time to test out different attack techniques, learn what works — sometimes from other hacking groups — and evolve their tactics to achieve maximum return.”

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