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Cyber attacks increase as people work from home

Action Fraud has revealed that it received 3,916 reports of cybercrime during the first month of lockdown.

BT Tower

As working from home drives ever higher volumes of cyber attacks, the Global Cyber Alliance celebrates its five year anniversary.

This September marks the five-year anniversary of the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), a global non-profit organisation co-founded in 2015 by City of London Police. In that time, GCA has developed a global partnership of 250+ organisations, as well as launching a range of initiatives to tackle cyber crime.

The need to partnership and collaboration between organisations is greater than ever, as the impact of COVID-19 continues to drive increases in cyber attacks.

The City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud which runs Action Fraud, revealed that it received 3,916 reports of cybercrime during the first month of lockdown alone. These reports equated to £2.9 million in reported losses, an increase of almost 72 percent, compared to the previous month.

On September 9, 2020, GCA will gather with several of its close partners to address cybersecurity issues facing the UK, in a virtual event featuring speakers from the City of London PoliceBTNCSCLloyds Banking Group and CentralNic.  As part of this initiative, the BT Tower in London will feature a series of cyber security protect messages, encouraging individuals and businesses to be safe and vigilant online.

Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police, said:

“We want to make the UK the safest place to be online, and we’re working tirelessly to defeat cyber criminals.  Cyber crime is a growing trend, with total losses increasing.  In particular, criminals are targeting social media users and online account holders in a bid to make money and steal personal details.

“We work closely with our partners, individuals and businesses to tackle the threat of cyber crime.  Our specially trained officers lead regular, free events, designed to improve people’s knowledge of cyber crime and the measures they can take in order to protect themselves.

“It is essential that people, and especially businesses, report incidents of cybercrime to Action Fraud, so that we can build up a clear picture of the latest threats and give the best advice on how to avoid falling victim to cyber criminals."

Andy Bates, Executive Director, UK, Middle East & India of GCA, said:

“GCA's approach to addressing cybercrime is based on strength of partnerships. We thank BT, City of London Police, NCSC, Lloyds Bank, and everyone who have participated in and supported today's event.

“Today is a mark in time, commemorated by the GCA logo and message on the iconic BT Tower, but the collaboration and dedication of our partners to protecting individual citizens, businesses, and our government from cyberattacks is an ongoing effort that happens every day of the year.

“I would like to thank them for their partnership and dedication to making the UK and the global internet a safer, more secure place.”

Kevin Brown, Managing Director of BT Security, said:

"Cybercrime affects us all at an individual, organisational and national level, and we need take every opportunity to work collaboratively to tackle the issue. Partnerships across the private and public sector are an absolutely crucial part of how we protect BT and our customers, and by sharing threat intelligence and security best practices we can make it much more difficult for cyber criminals to be successful.

“The Global Cyber Alliance is a great way of enabling this collaboration between a wide range of organisations, and continues to provide clear support and operational enhancements that benefit the entire security ecosystem.”

Brian Dilley, Group Director Fraud & Financial Crime Prevention, Lloyds Banking Group, said:

“Helping to keep our customers’ money safe is our priority and joining forces with the GCA is part of our commitment to protecting customers, by improving the cyber ecosystem and helping to make the digital environment a safer place to do business. 

“Working together across the sectors helps to up the ante in the fight against cyber-attacks.”

Since its inception, the GCA has launched Quad9, a global DNS service that blocks on average in excess of 60 million malicious domains in a day.  It has tackled phishing and business email compromise through its work to address email security, and provided free cybersecurity toolkits for small businesses in English, German, French, and Spanish.

To address the role of the global pandemic in raising levels of cyber crime, GCA, along with 23 partner charities, developed the ‘Work from Home, Secure Your Business’ campaign to help businesses quickly navigate the security issues of having their work force move to home offices.

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