Cybercrime fighting units are woefully understaffed and under-funded and the situation is not likely to change soon, according to former special adviser for cyber security at the White House.
Speaking at the annual eCrime Congress in London Howard Schmidt claimed the only way to improve the problem, was business taking a more active role.
"We are not going to have enough investigators," Schmidt said. "We need to become the CIO for our neighbours, or friends, our relatives." According to Schmidt businesses and those in the information security field have a duty to protect others against cybercrime, through education, awareness and reporting incidents.
But Schmidt stopped short of blaming staffing shortages on the increasing trend of police moving over to the private sector.
"I think that can be a good thing," he said. "There's a short term effect of a lack of expertise within the police but improved security protects business as a whole. That can only be a benefit."
Schmidt went on to appeal for a neighbourhood watch style of internet policing and more government and private sector togetherness. "It has to improve. It will improve," he said.
Last month SC reported the UK government was introducing a new website to help businesses recogines security threats. Businesses that sign-up to ITsafe will receive text messages and email alerts advising about new internet threats.