Event summary: Lunchtime Briefing on Tackling Cyber Enabled Fraud, with Adrian Searle of the NECC
On 1 March 2023, techUK hosted a lunchtime briefing at the techUK offices with Adrian Searle, Director of the National Economic Crime Centre. The following is a summary of the discussion, which was held under Chatham House Rule.
Defining Cyber-enabled Fraud
One of the earliest and most important topics discussed was what constitutes cyber-enabled crime generally and fraud specifically.
The name ‘cyber-enabled’ was outlined as suggesting some kind of security breach in order to enable the fraud to occur. Terms such as ‘digitally-enabled fraud’ may provide more clarity in identifying what role digital technology plays in a particular crime.
Similarly, certain technologies were identified as being able to play multiple roles in a case of fraud. Cryptocurrency may be used by fraudsters to launder money, but may also be used as the hook to get victims to buy into a scam.
Reasons such as these were cited to highlight the need for a ‘kill chain’ for fraud, akin to the kill chain that exist for cybercrime. There would be value in looking for commonalities both between the fraud kill chain and the cybercrime kill chain and between various types of fraud, to identify places where crime can be stopped.
Collaboration between the NECC, Government and the tech sector
Collaboration was outlined as a crucial way forward for the NECC. This includes both collaboration with the tech sector and the NECC’s equivalents overseas. Without this, it will be impossible to fulfil the Home Office’s three pillars of security: empowering the public, preparing firms to be cybersecure, and working with industry to make technologies resistant to fraud.
Collaboration with industry was cited as a crucial way to identify the various stages on the fraud kill chain and target strategic points to prevent crime. The need for a more proactive approach from the ICO was taken alongside the need for industry to be proactive in dealing with threats. Collaboration was noted as essential for ensuring industry, the regulator and law enforcement know where to target preventative measures.
This joint work also involves the greater sharing of data, such as between police forces. This can prevent repeated investigations and ‘lesson-learning’, which allows advancements in fraud to be responded to more quickly. It was highlighted that ‘sucker lists’ of those likely to fall for scams, often those who have fallen for them before, were often used by fraudsters, and that data sharing could allow better protection of those vulnerable to crime.
With the NECC’s work together with the Home Office and the Public Sector Fraud Authority, collaboration between Law Enforcement and government was appreciated, alongside the need for greater industry collaboration.
Similarly, the ability to use the expertise of the sector was seen as crucial for keeping up with both the latest threats and for combatting these threats. Two examples cited were the usage of ‘digital DNA’ by banks to spot cases where people had been persuaded to withdraw money by fraudsters, and the need to keep up with the potential of generative AI for both fraudulent applications and identifying fraud.
The publication of the upcoming Cybersecurity Strategy will outline what further work the Government will do to combat cyber-enabled fraud, including how legislation may change to enable more effective data sharing.
While not able to help those who don’t want to be helped, the development of the tech sector’s capabilities to identify and combat cyber-enabled fraud will continue to protect potential victims.
techUK, as the tech trade association, is willing to facilitate further work between techUK members and the NECC to tackle cyber-enabled fraud, including hosting sessions in future. This can involve developing the fraud kill chain.
In light of the tech sector’s growing role in combatting online fraud, techUK is setting up an internal Fraud Working Group. To find out more about our work in this policy space or for members interested in joining the group, please get in touch with [email protected] and [email protected]
Online Fraud Hub
techUK's work on tackling fraud, including events and insights, can be found at our fraud hub.
Javahir joined techUK in June 2022, as Policy Manager for Digital Regulation.
Prior to joining techUK, she worked at the New Statesman, delivering cross sector policy research and events for their policy supplement. Javahir previously worked as part of the educational programme at the European Commission based in London, engaging with the UK's youth on the Brexit process.
Javahir holds a BA Politics and International Relations (Hons) from the University of Nottingham, an MA Human Rights from University College London, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from BPP University.
Dan leads the techUK Cyber Security programme, having originally joined techUK in August 2017 as a Programme Manager working across the Cyber and Defence programmes. He is responsible for managing techUK's work across the cyber security eco-system, bringing industry together with key stakeholders across the public and private sectors. Dan also provides the industry secretariat for the Cyber Growth Partnership, the industry and Governmnet conduit for supporting growth across the sector. A key focus of his work is to strengthen the public-private partnership across cyber security to support further development of UK cyber security policy.
Before joining techUK he worked as Forum Lead for the Westminster eForum. In this role he had a focus on the technology and telecoms space, on issues ranging from Broadband and Mobile Infrastructure, the Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Data and diversity in tech. Dan has a BA in History from the University of Liverpool.
Programme Manager, Cyber Security and Central Government, techUK
Programme Manager, Cyber Security and Central Government, techUK
Jill is techUK’s Programme Manager for Cyber Security and Central Government, supporting the work of both programme teams and promoting better engagement between the public and tech sectors.
Prior to joining techUK, Jill worked as a Senior Caseworker for an MP, advocating for local communities, businesses and individuals, so she is particularly committed to techUK’s vision of harnessing the power of technology to improve people’s lives. Jill is also an experienced editorial professional and has delivered copyediting and writing services for public-body and SME clients as well as publishers.
Raya Tsolova is the Programme Manager for National Security at techUK.
Raya is responsible for all National Security related activities across techUK, specifically in the established programmes of Defence, Cyber Security and Justice & Emergency Services. Raya will leverage relationships with existing stakeholders across the three programmes, and will build new relationships between techUK and key stakeholders who are of interest to member companies.
Prior to joining techUK, Raya worked in Business Development for an expert network firm within the institutional investment space. Before this Raya spent a year in industry working for a tech start-up in London as part of their Growth team which included the formation and development of a 'Let's Talk Tech' podcast and involvement in London Tech Week.
Raya has a degree in Politics and International Relations (Bsc Hons) from the University of Bath where she focused primarily on national security and counter-terrorism policies, centreing research on female-led terrorism and specific approaches to justice there.
Outside of work, Raya's interests include baking, spin classes and true-crime Netflix shows!
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