Police lack skills and funding to cope with today’s cyber threats

28 January 2015

Police analysts forecast the time they spend on cybercrime will treble over the next three years but only 30% believe they have the skills and tools to tackle cybercrime effectively, according to a survey from PA Consulting Group.


PA surveyed intelligence analysts and researchers – those at the forefront of the response to cybercrime who identify and analyse criminal threats – working for 48 police forces and other UK law enforcement agencies. According to the survey, the police are ill prepared to cope with today’s digital environment and are tackling cyber threats with officers trained to combat traditional crimes, such as burglary and car theft. According to the survey:
• a third of digital analysts have been unable to share operational information due to lack of suitable policies or IT
• 74% of analysts investigate crimes that have a cyber-element but only 10% of their time is spent on cyber-related analysis
• only 15% of analysts think cybercrime is specifically measured within their organisation, meaning the challenge may be even tougher than imagined.

Nick Newman, police and cybersecurity expert at PA Consulting Group, says: “Government investment is biased towards cyber security measures to prevent attacks which compromise or damage the critical national infrastructure. Far less attention has been paid to helping the police protect the victims of cybercrimes, from bank fraud to online child sexual exploitation, or to pursuing those who commit these crimes.
“It is clear from our survey that the police needs to transform its training, tools and ways of working for a new digital landscape if it’s to combat the increasingly sophisticated threats posed by a new wave of online criminality.”

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