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Following on from our July 2019 update, the second issue of our bi-monthly fraud update deals with the potential exponential development of cybercrime both nationally and internationally.

This issue has seen a rise in reported cybercrime on the international stage where there have even been attacks orchestrated by governments. North Korea in particular has been accused of stealing £1.6 billion from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges alike indicating the real risks associated with this new wave of electronic currency. The quantity of funds behind these actions indicates why this will be an ever more prevalent crime in the future and why it is important to stay ahead.

Similarly on a national level, cyberattacks have continued in all sectors. A recently reported attack saw one of the UK's largest forensic services being targeted, leading to a backlog of 20,000 samples. This had huge practical implications, significantly for the police and the judiciary which highlights that all levels of society may be vulnerable.

Evidently, cybercrime is big business for cybercriminals and recent reports have suggested how organised and well managed it is necessary to be in order to be successful. Treating cybercrime like a business is now the new norm and the dark web is being exploited as the infrastructure to facilitate this. Whilst Governments and agencies are abreast of the issues, as soon as advancements are made to prevent cybercrime, developments are made in order to circumvent them. Keeping on top of prevention methods is a must for all.

Legislation is attempting to mitigate this crime wave, however, this itself is being used by criminals to fraudulently obtain information. During the Blackhat conference in Las Vegas, an Oxford researcher revealed that 1 in 4 companies were readily revealing personal details of individuals to their spouse or partner. In order to do this, GDPR and EU Privacy laws are quoted (incorrectly) to trick companies into thinking this is part of their obligations. This is indicative of the impact that this is having at the moment, let alone in the future.

Reassuringly, from a banking and finance perspective, there have been some advancements made on a consumer level to reinforce customer authentication measures with a view to reduce card fraud. These developments are in anticipation of the implementation of an upcoming EU directive. However, the FCA do not intend to enforce this until March 2021 due to the need for banks to be prepared. This illustrates the direction of the market in terms of preventing cybercrime, and protecting consumers.

Articles of interest

1. Cryptoassets – Development of FCA Guidelines

The FCA updated its regulatory position in relation to crypto assets and their classifications. Key authorities are now wading into this space to try and define its parameters.

2. Cryptocurrency in the Middle East – Bahrain

In a region that is still trying to define its own legal structure, Bahrain are at the forefront of countries in the Middle East looking to promote and regulate the use of cryptocurrency.

Upcoming seminars

1. People tech

The technology revolution is being heard in the workplace and to prepare for the Future of Work our Autumn Seminars will consider how technology is affecting HR and people matters at work.

2. Data privacy roundtables

Following the success of our latest data privacy masterclasses we are delighted to announce that we will be running a series of roundtable events linking attendees in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Exeter.