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World Body Declares Cyber Security Top Issue

Sovereign nations around the globe have clearly defined borders, but as attendees were shown at a UN Conference several years ago, cybercrime is a borderless phenomenon. In 2011 Norton Security released statistics that showed that every 14 seconds an adult is a victim of cybercrime and the numbers are growing. As internet use grows, so does the amount and type of information streaming across the web. This information crosses transnational lines, public and private sectors.

The UN conference in 2011 noted that with the expansion of global trade across the internet and the ability of persons to cross borders to steal information without leaving the comfort of their own home or the border of their own country, global cooperation is necessary to stem the crime wave that is enriching criminals and devastating victims.

The Problems

The major areas of concern mentioned were computer crimes such as copyright infringement, fraud, child pornography, network security breaches and even hate crimes. Experts from each of these areas spoke about the types of crime that could be perpetrated as well as the challenges that security professionals and law enforcement encounter when combating them.

Protecting children online from predators was high on the list of issues faced by the professionals that deal with not only the crimes themselves, but the aftermath it leaves on its young victims. Though education was considered the best way to combat these crimes, a common theme in the conference was the lack of uniform laws across the globe that can be used to punish or catch the cybercriminals.

Protecting your network infrastructure is paramount to ensuring that your company’s data and the data of your customers, vendors and partners is safe from cybercrime. Nothing can devastate a business more than a widely publicized data breach. Aside from the negative publicity and the loss of trust that people will associate with your brand is the financial consequences of the breach itself. In some instances, you will be required to provide identity theft protection for those whose data was stolen, and if you aren’t required by law to provide this service, simply good business sense will prompt you to take on this additional financial burden.

The difference between the infrastructure and technical capacity of developed versus developing countries was also brought into play. The economic disparity between developed and developing nations makes cybercrime a particularly attractive method of financial gain for cyber criminals. The lack of uniform laws enables the cyber criminals to take advantage of legal loopholes and enable them to get away with their crimes. The lack of strong security structures in developing nations make the cybercrimes easier to enact and far easier to detect and trace.

The Fix

To address the issues brought before the world body, a partnership between Great Britain and India was formed to establish a research lab find ways to combat cybercrime and strengthen global security. This lab will work with similar research centers around the globe to develop security technologies that will lead to marketable technologies as well as internships for students.

The Centre for Secure information Technology is an open model that is also working with IBM, Infosys, McAfee and others to develop roadmaps to follow in the development of new technology for the future. These roadmaps will focus on network infrastructure, SCADA, network security, mobile malware, cloud computing, homomorphic encryption, cryptology and biometrics. It is hoped that these types of partnerships will be able to address the current problems and forge the ability to work on global threats in the future as technology evolves and new threats emerge.

What You Can Do Now

Though technology continues to change and while the world governments work on solutions that will seamlessly cross international borders, you can take steps to minimize the risks to yourself, your families and your businesses. Solutions will only work if people apply them as they arise. Right now solutions exist and should be implemented until better ones are developed.

Educate yourself and your children about the warning signs of cyber fraud and exploitation. Learn to delineate the difference between a legitimate request for data and a fraudulent one. Learn the signs that your computer or network is under attack. Always install cloud based antivirus program on your system like Panda security, Immunet free antivirus, Comodo internet security; preferably one that updates around the clock as new threats are identified or suspected. Loss of data can be as devastating as theft of data and other can result from virus attacks. Anti-malware software is a must as malware can easily be used to gain information from your computer systems. Protect your email from questionable attachments and don’t be quick to provide information that should be kept secure such as passwords, bank account numbers and other personal information. All of these methods can help protect you from becoming a victim of cybercrime.

By Sandra Lambert, Computer Networking and Security Specialist

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Good piece Sandra and awareness is the Khaled Fattal  –  Aug 26, 2015 10:57 AM

Good piece Sandra and awareness is the key, but the threats and challenges are too daunting and too huge as they grow exponentially to be handled in the traditional mechanisms that exist today. I have already written about this before here at Circle ID recently http://www.circleid.com/posts/20150724_global_paradigms_relied_upon_were_destroyed_overnight/
Critically now comes the much needed new approaches and actions to mitigate this.

So, Well done for creating the awareness about this threat that will impact all.



Did I miss something? John Laprise  –  Aug 26, 2015 5:44 PM

The article rightly identifies users, technology, and law as three core components of cybersecurity. The trumpeted fix however is technological. This is unfortunate. The human element and social engineering is almost always the easiest element to compromise. Beyond that, law comes in a close second. It’s also not enough just to have a law in place or even have tech-savvy law enforcement. The strength and fairness of rule of law varies globally creating an asymmetric environment. Even if there were global cybercrime treaties, the manner of their enforcement in local jurisdictions would be problematic.

The emphasis on technical solutions is misplaced.

Best regards,

John Laprise

Strategy Alex Tajirian  –  Aug 26, 2015 7:09 PM

Strategy is the most important success factor, irrespective of your technological advances, legal framework, and user educational campaigns.

Regards, Alex

Thank you all Sandra Lambert  –  Aug 27, 2015 9:15 AM

Sandra Lambert-

Thanks everyone for sharing your insights. I really appreciate your thoughts and will research more to find out new approaches, actions and technical solutions in order to reduce these problems.

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