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As cybercrime rises, so does a new – and successful – breed of cybercops

Cybercrime is increasing, but one new study finds that cybercops have become a lot more effective at discovering data breaches and informing the often unaware victims.

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Amid the flurry of cybercrime news that dominated headlines last year, from rampaging hacktivists and cyberspies to rising sabotage threats to infrastructure control systems – there was something else: the cybercops on the beat did a better job, too.

While most studies and surveys found cybercrime was increasing and spawning more serious threats to society, one new study also finds that cybercops are doing a lot better at discovering criminal data breaches on their own – and then alerting the victim companies that frequently often had no idea of the financial and other data being stolen from their networks.

“The good news for organizations is that the effectiveness of law enforcement to detect breaches increased almost five-fold in 2011,” according to the Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report, published by a Chicago-based cybersecurity company that tracks cybercrime trends.

Of the approximately 3,000 organizations that reported a cybersecurity breach to Trustwave last year, 33 percent had been notified by law enforcement. That's compared with just seven percent in 2010, the report said.

That nearly five-fold jump is mainly thanks to an increased focus on the problem, including more resources devoted by national crime units like the US Secret Service, Australian Federal Police, and the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, as well as international groups like Interpol.

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