Brexit to leave UK defenceless against cyber crime

Over a fifth (21 per cent) of Britons have already been a victim of cyber crime, according to commissioned research from personal cyber security app Clario, with the average victim losing £1,276.

In its Great Cyber Surrender report, based on the research, Clario looks at how the British police and the government have “abandoned” cyber crime victims, and predicts the problem will only get worse following Brexit.

As part of the research, 4,000 citizens from the UK and the US were surveyed on their views and experiences of cyber crime.

Scarlet Jeffers, vice president of experience at Clario, said: “The actual crime numbers are likely to be higher as seven in every ten victims don't report the thefts they’ve been exposed to.

“We also anticipate these numbers will increase as the UK leaves the EU this month and the country also departs Europol - the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation.”

Jeffers said: “Not being part of Europol doesn’t make it easier for UK law enforcement to keep up with the evolving threat landscape.

“In an age when international cooperation is more important than ever to deal with cyber crime, the UK will lose access to databases and intelligence-sharing infrastructures, which leaves consumers more vulnerable.”

She said cyber policing and legislative action in the UK are “inadequate” and leave victims “unprotected”, and called on the government to immediately launch a public awareness campaign to “educate” all UK citizens about the dangers of cyber crime and how they can protect themselves and their families.

A national reporting hotline from the government was also needed, she added, so victims are “enabled” to easily report crimes.

Following Brexit, said Jeffers, the UK government had to “quickly” come to an agreement with the EU, to ensure British police forces “retain access” to European intelligence and joint investigative work.

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