HMRC’s cyber security team prevents £103m of attempted fraud. Plus 7 tips to protect yourself

HMRC’s cyber security team prevents £103m of attempted fraud. Plus 7 tips to protect yourself

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Date21 Apr 2016
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Posted ByAdmin
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Cyber criminals are the modern day burglars. They have many different ways to steal your personal information and money.

In fact, cybercrime has become so common these days that The 2010 National Security Strategy identified cybercrime as one of the top threats to the UK.

HMRC took notice of this report and has since 2011 invested £860m in a National Cyber Security programme.

A dedicated team

Following this investment, HMRC’s dedicated cyber security team is successfully keeping fraudsters away from government systems.  According to the UK Cyber Security Strategy annual report, HMRC has prevented frauds totalling more than £103m in 2014-15! In total, they have taken down nearly 11,000 fraudulent websites in 2015.

Other achievements cited by the minister for the Cabinet Office and paymaster general, Matthew Hancock MP, include:

  • Enhancement of national capabilities and technologies to defend the UK against fraudster who intend to harm
  • Building security by design in the government’s digital systems
  • Taking robust action against attempts at online fraud
  • Introduction of a national approach to incident response and secure information sharing on threats
  • Involving the police to actively tackle cybercrime, both home and internationally

Long way to go

However, according to the minister, there is obviously much more that can be done to contain cybercrime. 2016 will see the launch of the UK’s second National Cyber Security Strategy, which will define the vision and ambition for the next five years.

He said, “While we know the scale of the task ahead, we also know we are building on a good platform. This report highlights the current Programme’s achievements over the past year and the wider impact of the Programme since its inception. We should be proud of the foundations we have jointly laid through our first National Cyber Security Programme. They have positioned us well for challenges ahead.”

7 tips to thwart cyber-crime

  • Don’t reply to suspicious emails that ask for personal information. In fact, report them to Action Fraud or forward details of messages to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
  • Report suspicious emails and scams
  • Don’t share your passwords via email and don’t share it with others. In fact ensure you update your login credentials at least twice a month
  • Pay close attention when asked to sign-in online. Check if the website has an "S" after the letters "http"
  • Use encryption to protect most sensitive data like tax return or financial records
  • Think before you click on a link or a file of unknown origin
  • Keep your computer update with the latest security patches and updates