A recent study published by the National Crime Agency titled Pathways Into Cybercrime has shown that peer pressure rather than money motivates young people to engage in cybercrime. The study involved collating debriefs with offenders and those who were on the cusp of engaging in cybercrime.
The study was commissioned to explore ways that young people can be influenced to turn away from cybercrime into activity that is more productive. Richard Jones, head of the National Cyber Crime’s Unit Prevent team, said: “There is great value in reaching young people before they ever become involved in cybercrime, when their skills can still be a force for good”. Dr. Jamie Graves, chief executive of the cybersecurity firm ZoneFox, argued: “Instead of spending resources looking to suppress these highly intelligent young individuals and put them behind bars, we should be identifying them and nurturing and encouraging them to contribute positively in roles that can utilise their skills, both in the private and public sectors.”
The publication comes after it was revealed that almost a half of businesses are affected by cybercrime. Despite the conclusion that the peer pressure rather than money motivates young people to engage in cybercrime, the National Crime Agency only assigns a medium-degree level of confidence in its conclusion and highlights the “difficulty in corroborating self-reported offender motivations”.
You can read the full report here.