Two thirds of UK businesses suffer cybercrime attacks

But ecommerce still given the thumbs up

But ecommerce still given the thumbs up

Two thirds of UK companies have suffered some form of cybercrime attack in the last year, adding to growing fears that ebusiness won't take off until the issues are resolved. According to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the nature of high-tech crime is changing. Until now, the biggest threat has been posed by companies' own employees. But these latest findings show that external hackers, former employees and organised crime now represent the biggest danger. The CBI counted virus attacks as a form of cybercrime, a definition that would help swell the figures. Of the 148 companies surveyed, only 32 per cent believe that business to consumer transactions are secure. Fifty three per cent said the same of B2B transactions. But despite the doom and gloom scenario painted by these findings, the vast majority of companies believe that the benefits of ebusiness outweigh the risks. Most claim they are well-positioned to respond should the worst happen. The biggest fears surround the adverse publicity which often results from an attack, not the potential financial loss. This is despite the fact that very few companies are immune from cybercrime, and that keeping these things quiet is not helping UK business deal with the situation. The under-reporting of cybercrime is widely recognised as a major obstacle to tackling the problem effectively. The CBI is calling on the government to take action, and is lobbying for a range of measures including the creation of a UK centre for cybercrime complaints (which silicon.com first called for back in April as part of our Fighting Fraud campaign), and the extension of the Computer Misuse Act of 1990 to encompass attacks which cause IT systems to fail.