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UK Police forces head to cybercrime boot camp to counter growing threat

UK Police forces are taking significant steps to ensure their officers have the necessary skills to properly investigate cybercrime.

This is according to new research conducted by enterprise protection firm Veracode (opens in new tab), which submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to examine the number of Police officers committing to cybersecurity training since 2010.

Of the 19 forces that responded to the FOI request, 3,829 officers have undertaken specific training in this area this year, compared with just 37 in 2010.

According to Veracode, this is reflective of the growing threat cybercriminals pose to British businesses, the government and members of the public.

By upskilling in the area of cybercrime, local Police forces can now work the newly established cyber teams within the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU (opens in new tab)).

They will be able to contribute to ROCU cybercrime investigations that cross into their jurisdiction and also support the National Cyber Crime Unit (opens in new tab) which is responsible for investigating the most serious cybercrimes.

“These findings suggest how the growing threat of cybercrime has reached Police officers working on the beat each and every day. It is vital that forces continue to invest in training officers to tackle this increasing danger to businesses and members of the public alike,” claimed Veracode founder, CISO and CTO Chris Wysopal.

“Collaboration is essential to stemming the tide of cybercrime sweeping the UK. Just as connectivity has forever changed business – mobile apps are now storefronts, employees work from coffee shops or any other hotspot, purchases can be made directly from Internet connected devices in our homes – and this has also dramatically shifted how crimes are committed,” he added.

Further training and commitment required

Wysopal noted that when local Police forces are skilled in identifying and remediating attacks in this area early on, it can prevent costly escalations – but there is still more work to be done.

“While the cyber security training exercises are certainly a step in the right direction, we’re not yet at the appoint where there’s a cyber forensics expert attached to each local Police force that businesses can turn to for help,” he claimed.

“Creating this faculty would certainly be of help to the over-stretched national units such as the National Cyber Crime Unit, which currently handles most reported cybercrime inquiries,” he added.