Thursday, December 8 2022

A new study from cybersecurity specialists ESET reveals the regions of the UK that experienced the highest cybercrime rates in 2021. The study found that there was a very small decrease in the number of cybercrimes reported in December 2021, compared to January 2021.

ESETa global leader in cybersecurity, has conducted a study of the state of cybercrime in the UK, looking at the areas that have seen the highest number of cybercrimes committed as well as the most common cybercrimes committed.

The UK saw a slight decrease of 2.97% in the number of cybercrimes committed in 2021. London is the region with the highest number of cybercrimes committed.

Areas with the highest cybercrime rates per 100,000 population

Rank Police force Total number of cybercrime reports in 2021 Cybercrimes per 100,000 people Percentage change from 2020
1 Metropolitan (London) 5,258 58.5 -11.8%
2 Surrey 644 53.7 -8.1%
3 Kent 999 53.5 -9.0%
4 Northamptonshire 399 52.7 -0.2%
5 Hertfordshire 607 50.8 -19.4%

Looking at total cybercrime reports in 2021it is not surprising to see London leading with more than 5,000 reports. The capital was followed by the West Midlands (1,242) and Thames Valley (1,142). Cumbria was the area that saw the fewest number of cybercrimes committed with 174 reported in 2021, it was followed by Cleveland (194) and Dyfed-Powys (213).

Looking at the data in the report, we can clearly see that the wealthier regions of the country are the most targeted by cybercrime. The 7 most targeted areas are among the 10 wealthiest counties by the GVA (Gross Added Value) per capita, and the 5 of the 10 most targeted areas rank among the 10 wealthiest counties per GRP per capita. While not unexpected, it clearly shows that cybercriminals are targeting the biggest fish in the pond.

Areas with the greatest decrease in cybercrime

Rank Police force Total number of cybercrime reports in 2020 Total number of cybercrimes 2021 Percentage change from 2020
1 Gloucestershire 320 219 -31.56%
2 Northumbria 686 470 -31.49%
3 Wiltshire 425 295 -30.59%

Only three areas of our research saw an increase in cybercrime reports, Norfolk seen the the highest increase of 19.83%, Nottinghamshire (0.52%) and Northamptonshire (0.25%) followed.

The most common types of cybercrime in the UK

Rank Type of cybercrime Total number of cybercrimes in 2021 Percentage of total cyber crimes Percentage change from 2020
1 Hacking (social media and email) 13,522 53.1% -12.0%
2 Computer virus / malware / spyware 7,156 28.0% -11.7%
3 Hacking (personal) 5,325 19.3% -4.6%
4 Hacking (extortion) 2,300 10.9% -26.8%
5 Hacking (server) 331 1.2% -8.1%

Cyber ​​crimes classified as piracy compound 85% of total reported cybercrimesa 10% increase year on year.

Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist for ESETcommented on the results:

“Knowledge is the key to reducing cybercrime and with this noticeable change in reported offenses from year to year, it’s starting to suggest that people are becoming savvier at spotting scams and keeping their wits about them. Media Piracy social media and email however remains the biggest threat across the country, so people should remember to implement basic security measures to combat hacking with password managers and enable authentication multifactor for all online accounts.


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