IT security experts call for national e-crime unit

IT security experts call for national e-crime unit

Sixty-five per cent of ISSA members say policing of e-crime in the UK is inadequate

Not one member of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) – the largest group of IT security professionals in the UK - believes the country to be adequately equipped to deal with e-crime.

And nearly two thirds (65 per cent) believe the current situation is wholly inadequate.

The results are a strong message to the government, said Geoff Harris, UK president of the ISSA.

"As increasing numbers of the criminal fraternity become aware of this weakness in UK law enforcement capability, the gap between safe online e-commerce and e-crime will continue to spiral out of control," he said.

In April 2006, the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) was rolled into the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), leaving a once-strong area of law enforcement to crumble, according to Harris.

"During the rise of the dot com era, the UK police pioneered world-class technical expertise and focus to investigate e-crime," he said. "It is a great shame that what we once had, we have now lost.”

The set up of a new national co-ordination unit is currently pending Home Office approval for funding - though private sector investment could be available should the Home Office reject the business case.