The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is celebrating the success of its dedicated Suspicious Email Reporting Service, but is urging users to take further steps to secure their accounts and data.
While the service has been instrumental in foiling tens of thousands of scams aimed at UK enterprises and individuals, the government organisation is stressing the importance of adopting the best practices for email security, including multifactor authentication and robust passwords.
An effective tool in the ongoing battle against cybercrime
Since the NCSC launched its Suspicious Email Reporting Service close to two years ago, more than 10 million malicious messages have been referred to the organisation. As a result, the NCSC has been able to remove 76,000 different online scams from active status, safeguarding British businesses and members of the public from potential threats.
The NCSC’s invaluable service allows users who encounter suspicious communications over email to easily report them to the authorities at the address firstname.lastname@example.org. The Suspicious Email Reporting Service was rolled out in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when it was necessary for Britain to enter lockdown. Operating almost entirely from home most people across the country found themselves depending on online services far more than they ever had before.
Cybercriminals were quick to seize the opportunity of the unprecedented circumstances, lashing out with an endless stream of phishing and scam emails. Two years later, this torrent of attacks continues to be aimed at unsuspecting individuals with the intention of stealing passwords, usernames, payment card details, money and confidential company information.
A wide range of scams has been recorded over the two-year period related to matters like the NHS, cryptocurrency investing and delivery companies to name a few. However, scams reported to cybersecurity experts at the NCSC are investigated and taken offline once identified as presenting a real risk.
More work still to be done
Despite the impressive figures of online scams taken down by the NCSC, recent statistics from the UK Crime Survey of England and Wales show a 161% spike in incidents involving unauthorised intrusion into personal information over the last year.
Chief executive at the NCSC, Lindy Cameron, commented:
“The British public’s response to our Suspicious Email Reporting Service has been incredible and led to the removal of thousands of online scams. But there is even more we can do and by following our Cyber Aware steps to secure online accounts – starting with email – people will dramatically reduce risks including financial losses and personal data breaches.”
To prepare people and companies across the UK and help them protect against email-based threats, the NCSC is now launching a brand new campaign. The organisation is recommending that everyone takes simple steps to secure their online accounts.
It urges users to activate multifactor authentication and start using more powerful passwords that are tough to crack. It advises creating passwords from three unrelated words as such solutions are easier to remember for users while remaining difficult for cybercriminals to unscramble.