Safe and secure computer networks
e-Crime Wales is a partnership of public and private-sector actors committed to equipping businesses with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves from e-crime, defined as any criminal activity involving the use of computers or networks. The effort includes a central website, sharing of best practices across Europe and putting businesses in touch with e-crime police.
“Two-thirds of businesses that contacted e-Crime Wales have changed their security settings or implemented an IT user policy as a result of the initial contact.”
Simon Lavin, Strategic Planning and Development Manager for the Welsh Assembly Government.
One-stop information source
Supported by the Welsh Assembly government, e-Crime Wales aims to increase businesses’ understanding of and appreciation for the wide range of online threats, how these threats can impact their bottom line – and, most importantly, how they can significantly reduce their risk exposure.
The innovative e-Crime Wales website, which has been viewed by people from Wales and 36 other European countries, features up-to-the-second information on threats and prevention techniques via RSS web feeds, Twitter, Youtube and electronic newsletters; an online service for filing crime reports, transmitted directly to the police; and policy document templates that can be adapted to individual business needs.
Finding strength in numbers
e-Crime Wales was launched in April 2008 to help businesses guard against e-crime, which costs them more than €300 million yearly through direct financial or intellectual property theft, communications disruptions or damage to critical data.
Borne out of the All Wales e-Crime Action Plan, the ongoing project brings together four Welsh police forces, specialist public sector organisations and expert commercial businesses to share and distribute the knowledge and intelligence businesses need to function safely and securely online.
It is also the first e-crime initiative in Europe based on coordinated action between the public and private sector, complemented by four dedicated regional police officers working towards the same goals. The project protects the investment business makes in the information society, whilst overcoming barriers to trust in ICT when adopting new emerging technologies.
To date, the e-Crime Wales website has attracted more than 20 000 visitors, while articles and policy documents have been distributed to more than 30 000 businesses, and 2 000 businesses have met with the e-Crime police. One of the key features of the project is the launch of a European e-Crime Partnership, which involves a cross-border dialogue on best practices with partners in Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Romania, Belgium, Spain, France and other UK regions.