Proposals to make it easier for UK firms to report online fraud have met with approval by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).
The Cost of Cyber Crime report, compiled by consultancy Detica and the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA), estimates that online crime costs the UK £27bn a year.
The report, released this week, claims that intellectual property (IP) theft is the most costly online crime of all. IP theft is estimated to be hitting UK plc in the pocket to the tune of more than £9bn annually.
The software and computer services sector accounts for £1.5bn of this. The sector is also losing £1bn to espionage and monetary theft, claims the report. The hardware sector is losing an annual total of just under £500m to cyber crime.
To bring this figure down, OCSIA has proffered the idea of launching a website to publicise the issue and allow firms to report ocyber crime anonymously.
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said this could help build a more accurate picture of the impact of online fraud on UK plc.
He said: "We recognise that the OCSIA's assessments are based on assumption, rather than solid research. However, we cannot ignore their estimations and we certainly welcome the creation of an unbiased, central hub for reporting fraud."
Lovelock added that tackling online fraud would require a collaborative approach and debate.
He explained: "There needs to be ongoing debates to secure a handle on these issues and, if necessary, improve legal and technological tools to reduce these figures over the short, medium and long term.
"All stakeholders need to come together, whether they are rights holders, anti-piracy bodies, government agencies or businesses themselves."
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