With increasing dependence of corporate and financial system on computers and internet, the cyber crime escalates. They are now attacking the cyber world with increasing intensity and have a propensity to derail the whole system if not contained systematically both through technology and legislation.
Unfortunately, the hackers and online scrupulous elements are normally ahead of the possible targets. The companies and governments are not well geared up to save them from such dangers. No doubt technology has improved our lives, but it has also increased the quantum of cyber crimes. It is estimated that in 2013-2014, the cyber crimes caused a loss of almost $110 billion.
Cyber Crime is on the Rise
Even the Australian companies are not safe with such incidences and on average such incident costs them about $2 million. Cyber crimes are highly unpredictable, can spread very fast and impair the whole financial system in a short time. As we are becoming more and more connected, cyber crimes are also taking another dangerous dimension of cyber terrorism. The attacks by the Syrian Electronic Army some time back are an example of the risk that we face from such incidences.
The most difficult part in handling cyber crimes is that you do not know where it will hit and how it will hit. The solution lies in preparing to be resilient. One must preconceive the way hackers will attack and then adopt suitable defenses to thwart their efforts. We should also have the necessary backups to protect the data and continue operation, if at all the systems are affected.
The lawmakers must also do their part by making laws impose heavy penalties to combat the menace. The penalties must be sufficient to raise powerful deterrent for all. There is also need for both the government and private agencies to combine efforts and resources to fight the problem. American administration has recently unveiled a report named Cyber Security Framework with the basic aim of sharing information between the infrastructure of public and private agencies.
Taking queue from American efforts, even ASIC must also take similar steps in Australia and create infrastructure to connect to the international framework of risk management systems. The efforts are worth it as today almost 40% of financial service companies are the target of such crimes. This is reported data, but the actual problem will be much bigger. There is an immediate need for the leadership of these companies to rise to the challenge and start preparing to tackle the menace.
If you are not yet feeling alarmed, read this.
In January, the debit and credit card data of 110 million customers was stolen by hackers from the servers of US retailer Target. Some time back the servers of another major retailer, Neiman Marcus, was also hit. The worrying trend is that the technology that is being used to launch such attacks is growing better with each passing year. The source and time of such attacks are becoming difficult to detect and trace. The agencies that have investigated these recent cases have mentioned that though companies are getting smarter in collecting and analyzing the data but they are not working enough to protect them from, cyber crimes.
If we want to see a dependable future for cyber world then we must act now together.
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About Donna Stone
Donna Stone is a published author of the very popular “Stepping Stones Series” – a trilogy of books containing over 750 business tips, available via https://donna-stone.com.au. Also a speaker and consultant in the bookkeeping industry. She won “Networker of the Year” for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Check out Money GemStones.Connect with her thru Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Twitter. Watch videos here.