Just under half of all British businesses were victim to at least one cyber security breach last year, according to a government report. The 2017 report, commissioned by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, found that 46 per cent of all businesses discovered at least one cyber security breach in 2016, with the average cost to firms ranging between 1,570 and 19,600. It pointed out that larger firms tend to incur much more substantial costs from cyber security attacks, which it said could reflect the increased complexity of the breaches, or because they have more sophisticated systems that are harder to repair. The report, which is part of the government s National Cyber Security Programme, warned that costs could come from the loss of customers, data or assets, handling customer complaints, and dishing out compensation, fines or legal fees. This comes after cyber experts warned1 that improvements to banks cyber systems could displace some of the threats onto other sectors, such as financial advice businesses. The cost can rise into the millions, with the loss often ultimately borne by the financial sector.
According to the government survey, only a third of the 1,523 businesses questioned have a formal policy on cyber security in place. However, it found that small businesses were more likely to have installed cyber security systems than they were last year, with almost a quarter now having formal processes in place, up from 15 per cent in 2016. The study, which was conducted in January and February this year, said this aligns with the increasing importance these smaller businesses now attach to cyber security. A positive picture was also painted in terms of the speed with which businesses identify breaches, with 90 per cent of firms recognising an attack within 24 hours.
The report found that 60 per cent of the 350 financial firms questioned outsource their cyber security to specialist providers. Marcus Scott, chief operating officer at think tank the City UK, said cyber security is increasingly becoming one of the biggest challenges facing businesses. While the average cost of a breach is 20,000, this can rise into the millions, with the loss often ultimately borne by the financial sector. Earlier this year, the City UK set up a task force to help boost understanding of cyber risk and encourage firms to take action to tackle the problem, such as working on system recovery issues and sharing best practices across other businesses. It also recommended that cyber security be managed effectively by boards, echoing advice in the report about the need for oversight of security issues at a board level. Other recommendations from the City UK included making sure cyber risk is a part of the entire business strategy. The government report found there were more breaches reported by those firms taking action to protect themselves, which it suggested could indicate that they are better at identifying when their systems have been compromised.
President-elect Donald Trump and his soon-to-be-selected secretary of homeland security will have a full plate when they take over in January . Indeed, there are so many areas for reform and improvement that any efforts to fix the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could easily get bogged down. Luckily, Heritage has identified four1 main priorities that the next administration should focus on.
1 . DHS Management
DHS management needs to be fixed . Its organizational cohesiveness and central leadership continue to present significant challenges that require more work than the Obama administration s Unity of Effort initiative2.
Additionally, the DHS s office policy should be strengthened to create intra-agency policy, resolve agency disputes, and, above all, drive structural change so that DHS components can work more efficiently as a cohesive unit . Luckily, the newly released National Defense Authorization A3ct conference report takes a step in this direction by upgrading the head of the DHS office of policy from Assistant Secretary to Under Secretary.
2 . Immigration Laws
Current immigration laws must be enforced4 . In Fiscal Year 2015, DHS data shows that only 462,463 removals and returns occurred the lowest number since 1971 . Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported merely 63,000 criminal aliens from the U.S . compared to 150,000 in 2015. President Barack Obama s executive actions on immigration enforcement must be rescinded, and the 287(g) program, which trains and deputizes state and local police to help enforce immigration laws, needs to be strengthened .
Rapid-removal authority under Section 235 of the Immigration and Nationality Act should be expanded to discourage surges of illegal immigration . Additional prosecutors, judges, and agents should be requested so that more cases can be heard and illegal immigrants deported. The U.S . also needs to make sure these criminal aliens appear at their designated court hearings by expanding effective Alternatives to Detention, such as GPS tracking anklets.
3 . Cybersecurity
DHS has a much larger role in domestic cybersecurity due to the passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA5) The primary purpose of that bill was to make information sharing between private and public sectors more efficient . This sharing will need to be monitored and improved, together with DHS s intrusion detection and prevention system known as Einstein.
DHS will also need to play a role in helping the Trump administration respond to state-sponsored and directed cyber-attacks . The U.S . should deploy all the tools at its disposal, including diplomatic, legal, visa, financial and others, to retaliate.
4 . Proper, Thorough Vetting
There is growing concern over how individuals, whether they are refugees, permanent immigrants, or visitors, are vetted before entering the U.S. The refugee process takes on average 12-18 months to complete, with background checks being requested through various department databases, including the State Department, DHS, FBI, and National Counterrorism Center databases . Interviews are conducted that ask security and country-specific questions .
In the case of Syrian refugees, the Syrian Enhanced Review has already started applying additional scrutiny to cases.
Congress needs detailed information6 from the administration on the nature of the risks incurred in the vetting process, and how it plans to mitigate those risks . Congress and the administration must also work together to begin the much-needed repair of America s intelligence capabilities. For regular immigrants and visitors, there is the traditional visa process, which involves a less lengthy but similar vetting process . San Bernardino attacker Tashfeen Malik managed to slip through this system, proving that there is always room for improvement. Visitors from many countries are able to use the Visa Waiver Program7 (VMP), which does not require an in-person interview in order for the applicant to travel to the U.S .
Instead, VWP countries provide the U.S . with important intelligence on a variety of things, including known and suspected terrorists, serious criminals, and lost and stolen passports, as well as improving their airport security . VWP is a unique tool that is extremely valuable for U.S . security and should be strengthened and expanded. In order to keep our homeland secure, the next homeland security secretary should prioritize these four issues .
These reforms are essential to a cohesive, effective, and efficient Department of Homeland Security that can keep the U.S .
- ^ four (www.heritage.org)
- ^ Unity of Effort initiative (www.hlswatch.com)
- ^ newly released National Defense Authorization A (armedservices.house.gov)
- ^ must be enforced (www.heritage.org)
- ^ Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA (dailysignal.com)
- ^ Congress needs detailed information (www.heritage.org)
- ^ Visa Waiver Program (www.heritage.org)
More than a million crimes, such as murder, child abduction, modern slavery and arson endangering life, remain unsolved by police in our region.
Figures obtained by the Shropshire Star shows that officers have been unable to close 1,119, 890 cases spanning a period of 27 years. This means there were on average 41,477 crimes a year in the West Mercia Police force area that have gone unsolved since 1988. Five murders remain unsolved, 14 attempted murders, 673 cases of threat or conspiracy to murder, 1,127 cases of threats to kill and nine of manslaughter.
Police chiefs for West Mercia Police force said today there were many reasons why some crimes lie on file, from lack of evidence or when a suspect was below the age limit. Other crimes that remain unresolved including 34 cases of abuse of children through prostitution and pornography and five cases of modern slavery. A total of 246 cases of kidnapping remain unsolved, 229 of blackmail, seven abductions and 125 cases of child abduction, 15 of these took place this year.
There were also 73 cases of a person absconding from custody. Many unsolved crimes relate to cases of violent and sexual offences including more than 2,000 rapes of women and 915 reports of rape of girls under 16.There were 69 cold cases concerning rape of men and almost 200 of boys under 16. This would be when every avenue of investigation was exhausted but there was still insufficient evidence.
The highest numbers of unsolved offences were concerning theft, with more than 160,000, theft from a vehicle, at a total of 147,178, and burglary at 89,000. The single crime dating back to 1988 was for a fraud offence. Connie Osborne, of West Mercia Police, reminded people that all investigations could be reopened.
Other reasons why cases were classified as unsolved could be due to a key witness or victim no longer wanting to support prosecution.
She said: We also look at other ways to ensure lower level incidents are dealt with. This may be through crime prevention and local policing initiatives which encourage the public to keep themselves and their belongings safe and negate the risk of crime. Our focus will always remain on ensuring victims of crime are taken seriously and we endeavour to provide the best possible outcome for them.
The figures revealed by the Freedom of Information Act cover the West Mercia Police area including Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Each crime is recorded under the relevant category and could eventually end up in another as investigations progress.
Off the books justice served
It was 24 years ago when Janine Downes battered body was discovered in a Shropshire lay-by. It is perhaps the most notorious of the cases that remain unsolved by police in our region.
Figures revealed today show more than a million crimes, such as murder, child abduction, modern slavery and arson endangering life, remain on file. There are five recorded murders that remain a mystery, according to the figures. The most recent case concerns the tragic death of Christian Bagley who was killed as he walked home in June in Hereford.
Detective constable Steve Williams, who works for West Mercia Police in the Major Incident Unit, is part of a team that deals with cold case murders. His aim is to get the most serious cases off the books bring those responsible to justice and help the families of victims find closure. He said his team had reviewed the killing of Miss Downes , a 22-year-old mother of three, whose body was concealed by a small hedge near Lambert s Restaurant on the A464 Shifnal to Wolverhampton road in 1991.
He said: These unsolved cases are reviewed at stages and passed onto the relevant department to investigate again. We deal with cold case murders in the area. We have a lot of empathy with the loved ones of these victims because it is awful to not know what has happened.
It is our duty but we also really want to close these cases. Fresh work was undertaken to identify Miss Downes s killer in 2013. The new investigation was part of a procedure in which cold cases are revisited.
Evidence from the time was re-examined using the most modern forensic techniques, some of which were not available at the time of the murder. The body of Miss Downes, who had worked as a prostitute, was found just before 9.30am on February 2, 1991. Following her death, a post-mortem examination showed she was strangled and had extensive head wounds.
She had been sexually assaulted. Clothes from the bottom half of Miss Downes s body and her trainers were missing. Following the killing, a West Mercia Police pathologist estimated her body had been left there between midnight and 4am.
Her last known movements were in Wolverhampton s red light district and detectives believed she had been killed by a client. Detectives revealed in 2011 they were following up potential new leads after a fresh appeal led to a number of phone calls. The detective leading the hunt for the killer said he was convinced someone knew who killed her as he revisited the lay-by.
Mr Williams also told of one his team s best results after a cold case review.
He said this was in the case of Shrewsbury killer Robin Ligus. The convicted murderer, who killed a pensioner in 1994, was found responsible for killing two others in the same year after a cold case probe. Ligus, a 59-year-old former painter and decorator, who was jailed for life for killing Robert Young in 1994, was found responsible for the unlawful killings of both Trevor Bradley and Brian Coles by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court.
The month-long trial heard Ligus, who was desperate for money to buy drugs, killed Mr Bradley near Melverley in April 1994 by knocking him out and setting his car alight. Jurors also ruled Ligus committed the unlawful killing of Mr Coles, who was bludgeoned to death with an iron bar at his home near Whitchurch, Shropshire, in October 1994. Connie Osborne, spokeswoman for West Mercia Police, said there were many reasons why some crimes were classified as unsolved.
She added: The classification is used in a variety of cases including when prosecution is prevented because a suspect is below the age of criminal responsibility, they are too unwell to be prosecuted, a key witness is unable to give evidence or when a victim no longer wants to support the investigation. There are also investigations where the prosecution time limit expires or the case has closed pending further investigation opportunities. As the statistics show, there are occasions where more serious incidents such as violent and sexual offences remain unsolved.
This will be when every avenue of investigation has been exhausted but there is insufficient evidence for a different outcome. We will still treat these as priority incidents and the investigations can be reopened, should any new evidence come to light. We also look at other ways to ensure lower level incidents are dealt with.
This may be through crime prevention and local policing initiatives which encourage the public to keep themselves and their belongings safe and negate the risk of crime. Our focus will always remain on ensuring victims of crime are taken seriously and we endeavour to provide the best possible outcome for them.
Of Drug Prescription – 23
And Protected Sexual Material – 500
Associated With Vehicle Or Driver Records – 116