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New initiatives to fight cybercrime

By Madeline Bennett, IT Week Stop Cybercrime and Syberterrorism

The Infosecurity show highlighted new efforts to tackle online crime

A number of products and initiatives to tackle online crime were unveiled at the Infosecurity show this week. They are likely to be welcomed by firms in light of recent research that suggests computer crime cost UK businesses more than 145m last year.

Visitors were presented with a range of new products designed to ease the IT manager's workload. Security provider Secoda launched its RuleSafe policy awareness software. The product is designed to make policy management easier across the enterprise by delivering policy information relating to situations and employees.

RuleSafe for information security policies is available now, with pricing based on organisation size. Secoda plans to launch additional modules later this year to help compliance with data protection rules and software licensing agreements.

Email security specialist MessageLabs launched its latest web site at the show. The site allows IT managers to view the latest threat data in graphic form based on their individual needs, and helps them to tailor their antivirus and anti-spam measures accordingly. The data is broken down into three categories - viruses, spam and porn - and users can select to view daily, monthly or annual figures, or can compare the progress of certain viruses over certain time periods.

Also at the show, parliamentary lobby organisation Eurim and policy research group the Institute for Public Policy

Research (IPPR) announce a year-long programme to identify key security issues, and develop recommendations for businesses and users to ensure they have high levels of protection online.

The programme will examine current laws covering online crime and will identify areas for improvement. It will also address the issue of who should be responsible for disclosing information on vulnerabilities in IT systems.

Eurim plans to present results from the study to politicians and activists in the UK and across Europe. The programme has already gained support from IT vendors such as Microsoft and Symantec.

A separate government-backed initiative was unveiled by Stephen Marsh, formerly director for security policy at the Office of the E-envoy. Marsh announced various schemes to be undertaken by the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance (CSIA), including an examination of security culture and governance within organisations.

Research released at the event highlighted the need for such initiatives. According to an IBM survey, the cost of computer crime to UK businesses last year was more than 145m.

Nick Coleman, IBM's head of security services in Europe, said firms should use this information as a basis for assessing the potential cost of security breaches within their organisations. IBM based its estimate on research by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit on security incidents in 2002, and information on the cost of computer crime from the Computer Security Institute.

Source: www.vnunet.com

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