Home Office written question – answered on 8th August 2022.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to stop cyber criminals.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

Tackling cyber crime is at the heart of the Government’s new National Cyber Strategy which is supported by £2.6bn of new investment over the three year Spending Review period. The National Cyber Strategy (2022-2025) has set the direction and ambition for investment and efforts in UK Cyber. Delivery of the Strategy is being supported by the National Cyber Fund. This programme has allocated investment to lead government departments to support delivery of the objectives set out in the strategy.

We are continuing to invest in law enforcement capabilities at the national, regional and local levels to ensure they have the capacity to deal with the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber crime, which includes ensuring officers are being trained and upskilled.

The Cyber Aware campaign is a major national advertising campaign that aims to help businesses (as well as individuals) to protect themselves online. The campaign empowers and enables the public and micro businesses to understand the best ways to stay secure online and take the necessary protective actions; and supports wider efforts to combat the threat at source via the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERs), and through partnership interventions. This year’s campaign was launched on 18 March and is focusing on empowering citizens, microbusinesses and sole traders to keep their email accounts secure. Cyber Aware - NCSC.GOV.UK

The Governments’ Cyber Essentials Scheme provides the basic controls all businesses should implement to protect themselves. About Cyber Essentials - NCSC.GOV.UK

Cyber Prevent is an important part of our response to tackling cyber crime. This is an early intervention programme aimed at deterring individuals from getting involved in cyber crime in the first place, moving deeper into cyber crime or reoffending and diverting them towards positive directions. Since 2019, all local forces now have a Cyber Prevent capability.

Further good advice and helpful products from Government include the 10 Steps to Cyber Security and the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership (CISP). 10 Steps to Cyber Security - NCSC.GOV.UK

We have also rolled out Regional Cyber Resilience Centres in each of the nine policing regions, and London.  These are a collaboration between police, public, private sector and academic partners to provide subsidised or free products and cyber security consultancy services to help Small and Medium Sized Enterprise and micro businesses protect themselves better in a digital age.

We have developed and we continue to innovate on a series of Active Cyber Defence measures. Active Cyber Defence is the principle of implementing security measures to strengthen the security of a network or system to make it more robust against attack. The National Cyber Security Centre’s Active Cyber Defence programme provides tools that are free at the point of use which help organisations to tackle, in a relatively automated way, a significant proportion of the cyber attacks that hit the UK.

There were 28,886 computer misuse offences referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) by Action Fraud in the year ending March 2022, an overall decrease of 5% from the year ending March 2021 (30,467). All computer misuse offence types saw a decrease, apart from ‘Hacking – social media and email’ which increased by 6% (from 13,576 to 14,357)

The number of computer misuse offences disseminated to forces rose by 9%, from 3,991 in the year ending March 2021 to 4,335 in the year ending March 2022.The total number of computer misuse offences assigned an outcome decreased by 5% from 7,900 in the year ending March 2021 to 7,556 in the year ending March 2022. Of those outcomes, the number resulting in a ‘Charged/Summonsed’ outcome increased from 74 to 97.

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