The Spanish government on Wednesday pledged stronger action against cybercrime, saying it has come to account for about a fifth of all offences registered in the country.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said police would be given additional staff, funding and resources to address online crime. He said reported cases of cybercrime were up 72% in 2022 compared to 2019, and 352% compared to 2015.
‘The … decline in conventional crime and the increase in cybercrime has brought us to a turning point: today, one in every five crimes in Spain is committed online,’ he told a press conference in Madrid.
Almost 90% of cybercrimes reported last year involved online fraud schemes, Grande-Marlaska said. ‘This … has a remarkable and negative impact on national interests, institutions, companies and citizens,’ he added.
On Tuesday, Spain’s defence minister approved the creation of a new military cyberoperations training school to further reinforce national security online.
Spain is among the countries that suffer the largest numbers of remote online attacks in the world, according to data from anti-virus protection specialist ESET. Small businesses are particularly affected.