A new report has recommended that the UK spends less money on antivirus solutions and dedicate more resources to policing the internet instead.
The 'Measuring the cost of cybercrime' study by an international team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge found that while the UK spends $1 billion (£0.64 billion) on attack prevention and clean-up, including $170 million on antivirus, it allocates just $15 million to internet law enforcement.
This figure is also ten times the amount that British citizens loose to the cybercriminals themselves.
"Some police forces believe the problem is too large to tackle," said lead author Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory.
"In fact, a small number of gangs lie behind many incidents and locking them up would be far more effective than telling the public to fit an anti-phishing toolbar or purchase antivirus software."
Professor Anderson and his team will present their findings on June 25th at the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security in Berlin, Germany.