Cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses, and private individuals alike. Cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds, causes untold damage, and threatens national security.

Falling victim to a cyber fraud attack can result in major financial losses, while data breaches can severely damage the reputation of organisations. The majority of fraud affecting the UK involves the internet and can therefore be referred to as ‘cyber enabled fraud’ or, for brevity, simply ‘cyber fraud’. According to the Royal United Services Institute cyber fraud has proliferated at an alarming pace.

Cybercrime is an umbrella term used to describe two closely linked, but distinct ranges of criminal activity. The Government's National Cyber Security Strategy defines these as:

Cyber-enabled crimes
Cyber-enabled crimes are traditional crimes which can be increased in scale or reach by the use of computers, computer networks or other forms of ICT (such as cyber-enabled fraud and data theft).
Cyber-dependent crimes
Cyber dependent crimes are crimes that can be committed only through the use of Information and Communications Technology (‘ICT’) devices, where the devices are both the tool for committing the crime, and the target of the crime (e.g. developing and propagating malware for financial gain, hacking to steal, damage, distort or destroy data and/or network or activity).

Cyber criminals have used the increased anonymity of the internet and email based transactions to adapt and expand their fraudulent activities. They continue to target individuals and organisations to obtain personal or sensitive data for financial gain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations such as the NHS and Government departments have been targeted by fraudsters seeking to exploit the crisis.

Individuals and organisations are more likely to fall victim to fraud or cyber offences above any other crime Whether this is an untargeted attack where cyber criminals target as many devices, services or users as possible seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in systems or a targeted attack where an organisation is singled out because the attacker has a specific interest in your organisation.

To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime you can adopt a few good online habits which can drastically reduce the chances of a cyber attack, making you less vulnerable and allows you to use the web safely.

The NHSCFA has developed this resource to assist you in taking the necessary steps required to protect you and your organisation from cyber crime.

This resource will provide you with the following: