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City of London Police to assemble crack team of cyber detectives

The City of London Police plans to launch a team of “cyber detectives”, hired straight out of UK universities, amid growing fears around cyber attacks on the Square Mile.
The police force, which has been operating in London’s financial district since 1839, is in the process of designing a programme to recruit computer science graduates who can help in the fight against hacking crimes.
The aim is to trial the scheme next year with an initial group of five or six students, the force’s head of crime and cyber Peter O’Doherty told The Telegraph, adding that they are also looking at opening a “cyber academy” for existing staff.
“Cybercrime is the most significant growing threat in this country,” he said. “Cyber detectives wouldn’t help the issue of under-reporting [of hacks] but would provide the capability to investigate cyber crime more efficiently than we do now.”
The plan to hire a team of young cyber detectives has emerged days after the City police unveiled a new initiative dubbed “Cyber Griffin”.
This is designed to give financial institutions threat briefings and incident response training and will be conducted by specifically-trained officers. It also comes months after the City of London Corporation unveiled plans for a new “cyber court” that will focus solely on computer crime.
Banks, insurers and asset managers are battling with large technology companies for graduates with the right skill-set to help them fight sophisticated hackers. TheCityUK, the body for Britain’s finance sector, said last year that it would like to see specialist cyber schools open in all UK cities with a big financial services presence so that student do not all opt to work for Government or large tech firms.
City of London Police to assemble crack team of cyber detectives

A cyber attack against a large cloud computing firm could cause as much financial damage as a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina

Credit:
SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
A number of high profile attacks have sharpened the minds of those in charge of protecting businesses from would-be hackers, as the potential for reputational and financial damage continues to increase.
In late 2015 mobile phone company TalkTalk was hit by an attack which breached the accounts of 157,000 of its customers, revealing details including credit card and bank account numbers, names and phone numbers. The company was later fined a record ?400,000 by the UK’s data watchdog. The attack also left TalkTalk with an estimated ?60m bill and the loss of 95,000 customers in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
There was a similar breach at Uber in 2016, when the names and contact details of 57 million drivers and customers were stolen. US credit monitoring company Equifax was also hit by an attack that exposed the social security numbers of around 143 million Americans.
The UK has so far avoided a so-called “category one” attack - targeting infrastructure like energy companies and financial services.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum and risk manager Marsh warned that a cyber attack against a large cloud computing firm could cause as much financial damage as a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina because so many businesses rely on cloud services for their IT needs.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre advises businesses to keep security software patches up to date, use proper antivirus software and back up vital data.
Companies and individuals should regularly review their security protocols and to never pay a ransom if attacked, instead restoring files from a backup if possible.
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