Governments worldwide allocate funds to fight cybercrime
Friday, April 21, 2017
Cybercrime is on the rise. While we are not surprised by the fact, the rate at which it is increasing, the sophisticated technologies used by the perpetrators and the inadvertent complicity from telecom sectors have raised additional concerns.
Earlier this month, Montana became the latest state to join Minnesota and Illinois to secure the rights of their online citizens. These states are considering legislation to protect the broadband privacy of users, data that is often stolen and manipulated by cybercriminals.
The legislation will prevent internet providers like Charter and Comcast from being awarded contracts for these states unless they stop collecting data from customers and record browsing history without consent. While, this data is ostensibly meant to be used for marketing purposes, it is readily available to hackers who sell the data to any nefarious organization that can pay.
With Congress repealing the FCC's privacy rules, more states may sign up to protect their residents against cable and telecom operators. Cybercriminals are invisible, and we need to rally efforts to prevent them from causing more havoc.
While it's going to be an uphill struggle for the states, the FBI and Justice Department may find it easier to combat cybercrime with the proposed $61 million increase to their budgets. Agents and analysts will now have more resources at their disposal to combat cybercrime, foreign intelligence intrusions and terrorism. The Homeland Security Department will also see a $1.5 billion budget to protect critical infrastructure and all federal networks from hackers.
Law enforcement officials around the world agree that cybercrime is one of the greatest threats facing us today. It is growing exponentially and has enormous implications public safety as well as national security. The increase in threat is as rapidly expanding as the advancement in technologies used by the criminals.
Massive data breaches, fraud and identity schemes, violent crimes, trafficking and international terrorism are all linked to and aided by the increase in cybercrime. All in all, they are meant to disrupt the system and cause havoc, ultimately costing lives. Instances of cyberhacking and holding companies ransom are increasing, lack of privacy and data breaches are aiding those engaged in cyberwarfare.
Improved resources, extensive training and updated knowledge will play key roles in combating cybercrime. A recently released guide on cybercrime, touted as the first of its kind, will be a useful tool for officers to carry out cybercriminal investigations.
Called "Cybercrime Investigation Body Of Knowledge (CIBOK)," it will act as a comprehensive resource of skills, behavior and knowledge needed to combat and solve a cybercrime. Developed in collaboration with former FBI and DOJ investigators, incident responders, security researchers and cybersecurity lawyers, it will foster further solidarity and information exchange between agencies, helping them be more efficient against these perpetrators.
It's not just the U.S. that is feeling this need to intensify their cybercrime-fighting forces. The Australian government has announced its new cybersecurity strategy that will boost the security of Internet of Things devices, following alarming reports of data breaches. Instances include online scams or fraud, identity theft, issues relating to buying or selling goods online, attacks on computer systems, producing, distributing and possessing illegal and prohibited content, email/phone scams or phishing and even cyberbullying.
Among the African nations, which lost $2 billion in cyberattacks in 2016, Kenya is one of the worst hit with losses up to $171 million. Authorities are now focusing on increased budget and resources to enhance cybersecurity competencies and looking at international collaboration to fight these crimes.
Even as a collaboration between Spain and the U.K. made five arrests to break up a cybercrime ring, research has shown that U.K. businesses are notoriously ill-equipped to fight cybercrime. Roughly 1 in 5 British companies fell victim to such in 2015, and the numbers are still grim. The U.K. government is being increasingly pressurized to prevent these breaches and secure online transactions.
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