Ideas on Fighting Cyber Crime Globally

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Slide Show

The Cost of Cyber Crime

Cyber attacks continue to occur frequently and result in serious financial consequences for businesses and government institutions.

As I mentioned yesterday, a panel of distinguished security experts spoke on the issue of cyber war at the Kaspersky Lab Cyber Conference. They could not come to a consensus on what, exactly, cyber warfare is.


However, all agreed that the threat of a cyber war and the escalation of cyber attacks and cyber threats need to be addressed on a global level.


Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, discussed the idea of creating an International Cyber Security Agency (ICSA) as an independent global platform for cooperation and treaties for non-usage of cyber weapons, as well as putting in place regulations to protect critical infrastructures from Stuxnet-like (or worse) attacks.


The other panelists - Michael Moran, assistant director cybersecurity and crime with Interpol; Alexander Ntoko, head, corporate strategy division, International Telecommunication Union; and Alexander Seger, secretary of the cybercrime convention committee, head of data protection and cybercrime division, Council of Europe - weren't as convinced that this was the best course of action. As Seger pointed out, getting enough agreement among leaders to develop and then sign treaties takes a very long time. It would be better to see what organizations are already out there fighting cyber crime on an international level and build on their efforts, as well as build on existing laws and ideas. Ntoko added that, just like the best cybersecurity defense is a layered approach, the fight against cyber crime and cyber warfare should also be layered. For example, it shouldn't just be government leaders dictating the direction taken to combat cyber threats. It should be a cooperative effort on many levels, including security providers and industries.


There is also the issue of who will police cyber threats and cyber crime. Would it be a branch of existing law enforcement or something entirely new? And would this cyber law enforcement operate on a global level or stay within national borders?


There was some discussion on how to fund a fight against cyber threats. In tough economic times, money for IT and security resources has been slashed. As Moran said, there is a serious lack of resources to fight cyber crime and cyber war, and that includes gathering the research necessary to develop new prevention strategies and staying one step ahead of the bad guys.


The bottom line is that the international community needs to rethink how wars will be fought and crimes will be committed. A single, well-planned cyber attack can take down entire cities, states or even countries, which is why action has to be taken now.