Computer Crime Research Center

Businesses to discuss cybercrime charter
(by Andy McCue)

Members of blue chip user group to meet hi-tech crime unit in January

UK corporate users are to get their first chance next month to examine in detail the cybercrime confidentiality charter drawn up by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).

The charter, to encourage businesses to report hacker attacks by minimising the disruption of an investigation and keeping the information out of the media, was unveiled by the police earlier this month.

Members of the blue chip user organisation The Infrastructure Forum (Tif), which includes GlaxoSmithKline, Friends Provident, Standard Life, BAA and Powergen, will meet with the NHTCU at the end of January to discuss the charter.

David Roberts, chief executive of Tif, told the charter was a positive move towards getting companies to report cybercrime.

"It's a necessary thing to be able to do because organisations are not going to freely disclose information unless they know it is not going to be used in a way that will get into the public [domain]," he said.

Security is still the dominant issue for users, according to Roberts. He said he expected that next year the corporate security functions of organisations would increasingly work together to address new threats and risks.

Separately, following the high-profile campaign against Microsoft's licensing changes earlier this year, the user group is aiming to create a forum for its members to build better relations with the supplier community.

"That means engaging vendors in a slightly different way," said Roberts. "We are looking towards facilitating discussions between a collection of users and a collection of vendors."

Chief executive of supplier body Intellect, John Higgins, said the vendor/user relationship needed to change.

"Too often I see suppliers and users dancing to the same old tunes and the same issues arise," he said. "We are at the stage where there is a need to define a more modern relationship."

According to Higgins, users think suppliers 'over-promise and under-deliver', while suppliers believe users are unrealistic about expectations and change their minds during projects.


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