London joins coalition of cybercrime-fighting cities

As crimes of a virtual nature increasingly start to affect the daily lives of citizens, cities world over are joining forces and sharing practices and expertise in a bid to build their defences against invisible threats.

Announced today in Singapore by the Rockefeller Foundation — amid 330 global contenders — London became one of 35 new cities to join an already 60-strong network of global cities, all united in the fight against cyber-crime and emerging digital threats.

With the Rockefeller Foundation at its helm, the ‘100 Resilient Cities’ (100RC) Challenge is a $100m (£64m) effort launched in 2013. It aims to equip member cities with the requisite tools and knowledge to defend citizens from digital threats.

Commenting that the Rockefeller initiative offered both financial support and key access to world-leading expertise, London Mayor, Boris Johnson stressed that one of city’s main aims was to focus on a “comprehensive prevention strategy” against crimes of a digital nature.

“London is the world’s commerce and technology hub and winning membership of this global network will enable us to bolster the city’s plans to stay one step ahead of today’s threats, including from cyber-crime,” Johnson said.

Cybercrime impacts half of BritsCybercrime impacts half of Brits
Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky, David Emm told that, “by making a bid for this, London is showing citizens in the UK that it takes cyber security seriously.”

He cautioned, however, that ongoing efforts would be necessary in the fight against cyber threats.

“One of the possible dangers is in seeing security as a destination — as opposed to it being a process,” said Emm, who noted the importance of keeping abreast of evolving technologies. “If this [London’s entrance into 100 Resilient Cities Network] represents a public symbol of an ongoing process, it’s got to be positive,” he said.

Membership to this body of ‘Resilient Cities’ means that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) will receive funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. This will allow MOPAC to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will be in charge of improving London’s resilience to cyber attacks, which could risk disrupting the city’s running. The network also grants member cities access to resilience-building expertise from both non-profit and private sectors.

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