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Cyber Crime

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Our reliance on computers and mobile technology has led to a dramatic increase in cybercrime.  A 2018 government report showed over four in ten businesses (43%), and two in ten charities (19%) experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months.  And alarmingly, less than a third of organisations have formal cybersecurity policies and procedures in place.

One of the consequences of the rising threat of cyber and data security breaches is a marked increase in the number of people accused of cyber or online crime committed in the pursuit of new avenues of money that have been made available.  In addition, innocent people have been caught up in criminal prosecutions and civil claims.  Even large corporations are not immune.  In 2018, Morrisons Supermarket was found vicariously liable for a data breach executed by a disgruntled employee.

If you have been accused of cybercrime, either through a criminal investigation or civil suit, I can provide sharp, robust, commercially astute legal advice and represent you in court.  In addition, I have a strong knowledge of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.  If you are facing a regulatory investigation involving a data protection breach, I can ensure you receive the advice you need to shut down the investigation early or, if this is not possible, minimise the reputational and/or financial damage to your business.


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What are some examples of cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a ‘catch-all term’ for crimes committed through the use of the internet, computers and all other digital devices.  It generally falls into two categories.  Firstly, these include the use of computers within “traditional” offences so that they can be committed online, in the commission of the offence such as:

  • Identity Theft
  • Stalking | Harassment
  • Romance Fraud
  • Sexual Grooming
  • Bullying
  • Hate Crimes
  • Possession/Distribution of Indecent Images of children
  • Financial Fraud

Secondly, offences involving the stealing of confidential information and interfering with digital rights, covering a wide array of activities including:

  • Hacking
  • Phishing
  • Malware – applications which are used to record keystrokes or obtain passwords and bank details.
  • Ransomware – software which blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

The police and other investigative agencies are constantly developing their awareness of the evidence that can be obtained through analysis of a person’s “digital footprint”.  However, in an ever developing, previously poorly understood area of law, legislation and judicial decisions struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.  This can lead to unjustness and innocent people being caught up in cyber-criminal ‘rings’.

Cyber Fraud Evidence

Most evidence of forensic fraud is recovered from electronic devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones which often reveals online history identifying the movement of funds, internet searches and even physical location.

Due to the high volume of data that is normally seized during computer-based investigations, it is vital that your legal team has the experience to deal with multiple types of data and devices on which that data sits.  Over my many years of practice, I have established strong relationships with computer experts who have the forensic skills to locate, collect, and analyse large volumes of complex data.  The evidence they can deduce can lead to the prosecution dismissing the case prior to it reaching court, a not guilty verdict or a lesser sentence being handed down.  Being able to challenge the technical elements of a cybersecurity case is what sets me apart and results in positive results for my clients.

The General Data Protection Act (GDPR) came into force in May 2018 and has resulted in every organisation, both public and private, which owns and processes data in the European Union to comply with its principles.  The Data Protection Act 2018 also requires strict compliance and any breach will be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The penalties for breaching the GDPR are severe – with maximum fines being up to €20m or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is higher – amounts which could cripple a medium-sized company.

GDPR compliance and data breaches

I can assist you with compliance advice should a data breach occur, providing an emergency response and calling in experts to immediately locate the source and reason for the breach.  I will also provide advice regarding an ICO investigation and represent you should a criminal prosecution or civil claim occur.  I can also discreetly manage any media interest in the investigation and ensure your organisation’s reputation is protected insofar as possible.

How I Can Help

With the existence of viral computer infections and malware being widespread, the potential for information to be downloaded without any consent or knowledge is an increasing reality.  Compliance duties related to cybersecurity and data protection are increasing all the time.

Should you find yourself accused of a computer or internet crime, or subject to a civil claim for damages resulting from a cybersecurity or data breach, it is imperative that you get expert legal advice in this complex area of law as soon as possible.

Get in Touch

Tanveer is happy to be contacted directly by individuals, solicitors, in-house counsel and other professionals. He primarily accepts instructions on a private basis, however, in limited circumstances, he will accept legal aid instructions.

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