The Cost of Complacency

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"The Cost of Cyber Crime" report reveals that whilst government and the citizen are affected by rising levels of cyber crime, at an estimated £2.2bn and £3.1bn cost respectively, business bears the lion’s share of the cost. The report indicates that, at a total estimated cost of £21bn, over three-quarters of the economic impact of cyber crime in the UK is felt by business.  In all probability, and in line with worst-case scenarios, the real impact of cyber crime is likely to be much greater.

Businesses are under contant attack with the theft of intellectual property rights and industrial espionage making up an estimated £16.8bn of the £21bn cost with the pharmaceutical sector most affected at £1.8bn closely followed by electronics and software. Being able to communicate, between verified and trusted individuals and entities, and share confidential documents online with an audit trail providing accountability would considerably mitigate the risk of theft.

The attack on Sony back in May 2011 has cost the company an estimated $150m excluding lost sales, share price impact and reputational damage "Sony hasn't taken care of my personal details – why trust it?". A data vault with 100m sensitive records is a tempting target and, even with encryption, is vulnerable to attack. The answer is not stronger encryption, it's 100m data vaults, or personal data lockers, each uniquely encrypted.

How many more 'tempting' data vaults need to be attacked before businesses accept that the way they protect individuals personal information and privacy has to change. Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, estimates that ". . . in the last 18 months alone [there has been] possibly a tenfold increase in attacks".

So the likelyhood that your business, organisation, government department, or bank (who are reticent to discuss such attacks in case their customers lose faith in them) will get hit is high. Couple that with the fact that your personal, private and sensitive details are, for the average UK citizen, stored in 1,000 organisations data vaults and the likelyhood that you will be a victim is almost certain. At what cost? According to the report identity theft costs consumers £1.7bn – and rising.

And banks, who currently monitor and report how I manage my financial information, could be part of the solution rather than the problem, by monitoring and reporting how I manage my personal information. Is there a listening bank out there?

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