The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has understandably caused millions of Remain voters to fret over trade relationships and the national economy. Now experts have warned of something else to be concerned about: cybersecurity.
In a recent interview with ibtimes.co.uk, the experts in question – Eset security researcher Stephen Cobb, CounterTrack chief technology officer Mike Davis and Cyphort co-founder and chief strategy officer Dr Fengmin Gong – all agreed that a ‘Brexit’ would likely bring worrying implications for web users.
Both Gong and Cobb said the odds of cybercrime increasing in the aftermath of a departure could be “significant”, with the former explaining: “Historically we have seen cybercrime rise after large natural disasters and events impacting world economy; Brexit qualifies for the latter.”
BEWARE OF BOGUS EMAILS RELATED TO BREXIT
Davis went further to suggest that hackers would take advantage of any confusion around laws changing during the transition. Their attacks would most likely take the form of targeted phishing campaigns, he added.
The predictions may focus on potential activity after Article 50 is triggered, but it seems not all cybercriminals are happy to wait. There were reports earlier this month that email scammers have already started preying on Britons’ Brexit concerns by sending spam messages with fearmongering subject lines such as “Brexit causes historic market drop” – opening them triggers the download of malicious software, which is used by hackers to monitor users’ behaviour and steal personal data.
Ironically, the worries and spikes come as the European Commission lays out plans to tackle cybercrime across the continent. An agreement signed this month will see €450 million in funding being used to help businesses, universities and researchers investigate the latest cybersecurity problems, with the goal of strengthening defences for member nations.
Unless suitable deals are negotiated by new Prime Minister Theresa May and her team, the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is likely to mean it won’t benefit from the initiative; another bitter blow for the country’s tech sector.
UK’S CYBER CRIME SURGES TO RECORD HIGH
The office for national statistics has released latest figures that almost six million fraud and cyber-crimes were committed last year in England and wales, it estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of march - suggesting cyber fraud is the most common type of crime. With bank account fraud and ransomware being the commonest. it is the first time fraud questions have been added to the official crime survey for England and Wales. Chris Greany, the City of London police’s economic command head, said fraud now cost an estimated £193bn a year and with half of all crimes against people in the UK being committed from abroad, it was becoming more challenging for police to tackle
SO IF WE ARE OUT OF THE EU CAN WE IGNORE GDPR?
The revamp of the EU data protection legislation is finished and has been name General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if you have been with us for a while you would have seen the detail in previous articles and seminars we ran last year. Suffice to say this new law has great penalties, is far reaching and requires a lot more controls and diligence to be exercised. So we are not in the EU, can we ignore GDPR? We would say NO, that even when we finally exit the EU, where you want to trade with an EU party, and it involves EU data then yes you will need to comply with GDPR. I am sure that it will be woven into the trade deals that are yet to be agreed. We are working on GDPR readiness assessments which can determine if a Business is compliant with GDPR, and what else they may require to be ready Please call or email us: email@example.com or tel 020 7621 7836.