Cardiff anti-piracy experts are set to recover over £80 million for businesses targeted by cyber criminals worldwide by the end of 2018, figures reveal.
The team from CJCH Consulting will see the amount they have recovered for potential victims of online crime since 2015 soar by December.
So far this year, the specialist consulting team has already recovered around £12.2 million for businesses worldwide, with figures up 15% on the same period last year, figures showed.
Over the past year the firm, which specialises in sophisticated data analysis, anti-piracy research, customised compliance and enforcement, and business intelligence, has also seen an increase in the percentage of successful cases when compared with the same period in 2017.
As a result of this growth, the firm has also seen its team numbers increase rapidly from six when it launched in 2014 to 52.
Head of the specialist Cardiff consultancy Steve Rees said the substantial increase in recovered funds shows the threat from software piracy, illegal downloads, and cyber crime is “still significant” and urged businesses to remain vigilant.
“From the vast amount of money we are set to recover this year for our clients it is abundantly clear that the threat from illegal online crime is still significant and should not be ignored.
“Despite the Government’s recent IP Crime and Enforcement report figures showing a drop in the number of illegal downloads from 2016, there still remains a vast threat from online cyber crime, with criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to target businesses worldwide.
“The Internet of Things, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency mining are just the latest in a growing number of networks and online platforms which are being exploited for maximum criminal gain.
“As such, as we approach International Internet Day on October 29, we would urge businesses to remain vigilant against this ever-present threat and take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their online data before it’s too late.”
Mr Rees, who spent 32 years with South Wales Police, first as a police officer, then moving into the Criminal Investigations Department, and Force Intelligence Department, said he had seen criminal trends shift dramatically during his career.
He added: “Criminality has shifted from the physical to the digital over the past 15 years.
“Before the rise of the internet traditional forms of physical theft in the real world would have dominated the scope of our investigations as police officers. However, since then we have seen digital piracy, copyright theft, illegal downloads and cyber crime take precedent, which has spawned departments to handle the sheer volume of crimes.
“The rise could be attributed to the ease of access, level of anonymity, and lack of traceability afforded to perpetrators by online crime.
“Surprisingly my past background in South Wales Police and as an investigative officer has translated well into the anti-piracy and compliance investigative field. Traditional skills such as investigative and communications skills, combined with the ability to understand the inner workings of criminal enterprises, have enabled our team to become stronger and more focussed in the fight against cyber crime.”