Digital Transformation

Three fold increase in online fraud since 2010

Consumers and businesses could take more effective steps to protect their information

The rapid growth of the internet in recent years has also resulted in a sharp rise in cyber crime, with a study published by credit-checking company Experian revealing that there has been a three fold increase in online fraud since 2010.

And with 12 million pieces of personal information apparently traded by online fraudsters between January and April of 2012, it seems that there is little sign of a decline in the threat posed by cyber criminals.

But as data protection software providers and security companies try to win the battle with hackers, it also appears that consumers could take more effective steps to defend themselves against the risk of having their personal details exposed.

That’s because Experian’s research also found that the average internet user now has 26 separate online logins for various sites, but only has five different passwords with which to access their accounts.

"The problem is that most people don’t realise there is huge market for login credentials – email and password combinations," the Daily Mail quotes Peter Turner, managing director at Experian Consumer Service, as saying.

"These outnumber sales of credit card details by nine to one because they give access to a huge amount of other valuable information, such as address books and related accounts."

Considering that cyber crime is a problem for both consumers and businesses, independent IT security consultant Kevin Wharram believes that adopting cloud technology and server virtualisation is an effective means for companies to combat the risk of having their systems exposed by fraudsters.

"Make sure your systems are secure and not weak, but if you’re an SME that’s where cloud and virtualisation can actually increase security going forward," he said.

If online crime continues to increase in the future then it’s likely there will be an increasing demand for ways to securely back up files and keep thieves out of private networks.