Cyber crime has been described as a major threat to our national security with the National Audit Office estimating the cost to the UK economy as between £18bn and £27bn a year.
Therefore leaving yourself vulnerable to a cyber attack can jeopardize your business, your wealth and your personal safety.
Conservatives in the European Parliament have been working on a revision of arrangements to fight cyber crime and cyber terrorism which has resulted in the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) now being given more resources to combat cyber crime. ENISA will play a key role in liaising with security organisations in member states and in collecting and disseminating security data.
The global nature of cybercrime means no country can afford to go it alone. ENISA with new resources will provide Europe with much-needed tools to tackle this growing and very dangerous threat.
Cybercrime has a vast reach, from large-scale attacks against cyber networks and databases to identity theft, distribution of child pornography, counterfeiting pharmaceuticals and the sale of pirate products and drugs. It encompasses the hacking of online financial services, the proliferation of terrorism and attacks against technology hubs such as power plants, electrical grids, and government complexes.
Globally, around a million people have fallen victim to it each day at a cost of around €290 billion each year.
Cyber criminals are not selective: They could target children sitting on their computers at home, or adult consumers every time they log on for online banking services or to do the weekly shopping.
The UK Government has been placing more resources in this area, and it is positive that the EU is directing resources in the same way.
(sent as a local letter to the regional media in February 2013)