Cybercrime is a huge and growing problem for the police and despite some high profile cases and breaches in the last couple of years over two-thirds of micro-businesses suffered some sort of attack last year and the average cost of a cyber attack to a small business is £65,000.
According to the 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales of the 1.8m cyber incidents committed, only 1% were reported to law enforcement and of those just 0.6% were solved.
The Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester was created to address this problem and create a visible place for businesses to go to help them to take steps to protect themselves and also help them to recover from an attack.
The government has 10 recommended steps that businesses can follow to help protect them online but only 57% of UK businesses have followed 5 or more of the steps, we aim to get this number to 100% in Greater Manchester over the next couple of years.
The centre will provide a targeted programme of work that will include training, ethical hacking and recovery support via a range of trusted suppliers who will provide everything from Cyber Essentials certification through to recovery from hacking, ransomware attacks etc.
The centre is a not-for-profit joint venture between Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Manchester Digital, with backing from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The financial loss to victims of Cybercrime in 2018 was £40m, with the top 3 threats being, Hacking, Viruses and Extortion. There are over 650k known IP addresses infected with malware and over 272k phishing reports were submitted to Action Fraud last year.
Europol recently reported 32% of all cyber breaches involved phishing and 1 in every 3,207 emails received are phishing attempts. Ransomware attacks also doubled in the UK this year and technologies such as artificial intelligence are being exploited to create new ways of committing online crime. The first case of AI voice fraud was recently reported where fraudsters were able to use an off the shelf voice generating software to impersonate a company CEO requesting an urgent money transfer, the company lost $243k and it is untraceable.
Whilst vishing (voice phishing) attacks are rare and most cybercrime can be prevented by following basic steps the centre will have to stay abreast of the latest trends in online crime and the techniques used to prevent them.
Our work will evolve through our unique connection to local universities and the Cybersecurity sector through our Trusted Providers and Cyber Expert Groups. Together with our links to Law Enforcement and the intelligence community the centre will be in an ideal position to constantly gather intelligence on the threat landscape and how it is changing and use that knowledge to protect and support the region's businesses.