The risks from e-commerce and using the internet are little understood and potentially crippling, according to Oliver Prior, research and development director of Willis Group Ltd. Speaking at the Insurance Institute of London, Prior said: “Credit card fraud, inadvertent transmission of viruses and the potential risk to reputation that could follow rapid spread of bad news, could be disastrous. Whilst some of these risks are familiar, the scale, speed and global spread of the internet magnify the danger. In five years we could be speaking of losses from e-commerce of hundreds of millions of dollars.” He warned that this expanding market presents criminals with a range of new opportunities.
Prior outlined two basic types of e-businesses. “virtual” businesses, such as Amazon.com, that have been created for internet trade and “clicks and mortar” businesses, such as Dixons. He urged both types of business to take action quickly to protect themselves from internet crime.