Economic crime affected nearly half of government and public sector organisations in the past 12 months.
According to a report by PwC, one in four of the 180 organisations polled worldwide (27 of which were in the UK) expected to suffer from cyber crime in the coming year, with 46 per cent of government and public sector organisations already having experienced one or more incidents of economic crime in the past 12 months.
The most popular types of fraud – asset misappropriation; accounting fraud; and bribery and corruption – are on the increase, while cyber crime has also risen sharply. Asset misappropriation is the most common type of fraud, suffered by 75 per cent of respondents.
Around 14 per cent said they were a victim of some kind of cyber crime, while 28 per cent of respondents thought they are likely to suffer a cyber crime attack in the next 12 months; more than 40 per cent perceived the risk of cyber crime to be exacerbating.
Andrew Miller, PwC's head of information security in government, said: “Damage to an organisation's reputation and the potential loss of data are high on the public sector's agenda when it comes to the impact of cyber attacks. This is hardly surprising given recent high-profile cases of data security breaches.
“Therefore, it is vital that organisations continue to ensure they are investing in cyber-crime-monitoring capabilities and align their management structures to take timely actions if a cyber incident occurs.”
Although more than half of public sector organisations said they have in-house capabilities to detect cyber crime, most don't have the resources to investigate it and are reliant on external forensic technology investigators. This week a newspaper story in the US revealed that networks at a college in San Francisco had been infested with viruses for more than a decade, with the CTO blaming a lack of security awareness among directors and staff.