While globalization has increased information sharing, it’s also made businesses and governments more susceptible to cyber crime. Since information assurance is an international issue, nations are finding ways to collaborate to enhance security globally.
Technology has connected the world more than ever. Businesses of all sizes operate internationally, and organizations regularly exchange digital information across borders.
However, with a greater exchange of information comes an increased risk of cyber crime. Cyber attacks of all types are on the rise, which is why the value of the global cybersecurity market has grown from $3.5 billion in 2004 to an estimated $120 billion in 2017.
Cyber attacks have implications for government security, economic stability, business relations, public safety and consumer confidence. Many nations have developed information assurance policies, but as globalization connects us all, there’s a greater need to develop a global cybersecurity strategy.
Fighting Cyber Crime Across Borders
Governments and organizations conduct business internationally, and so do cyber criminals.
According to the 2016 Verizon, 64,199 security incidents and 2,260 data breaches occurred across 82 countries, particularly impacting the public, entertainment, finance and information sectors.
For example, the Carbanak criminal gang stole nearly $1 billion from more than 100 banks across 30 different countries. This group of cyber criminals from Russia, Ukraine and other areas of Europe and China stole the funds directly from the banking institutions, rather than targeting banking customers.
While the group primarily targeted Russian banks, they also successfully targeted banks in Japan, U. S., Switzerland, the Netherlands and other nations.
A breach in one organization can often leak and spread throughout its operations across the globe. So how do you respond to a data breach? Explore our article: Crisis Management: The Immediate Aftermath of a Cyber Attack to find out more.
Addressing the Threat Together
Since each nation faces similar cyber threats, it makes sense for governments to work together to bolster information assurance.
Fortunately, nations are partnering with each other and global cybersecurity organizations to combat cyber crime. Here are some examples:
· The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) partnered with the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and global cybersecurity vendors to dismantle the Dridex , which breached organizations in 27 countries
· A law enforcement coalition from 20 countries helped charge and arrest members of the Darkode cyber crime forum
· A Russian national was arrested in Spain and sentenced to four years in prison for infecting more than 11 million machines with malware
· Latin American and Caribbean nations are developing a cybersecurity strategy via the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism
Greater collaboration among cybersecurity and criminal justice organizations and government bodies can help identify, target and attack cyber crime across the globe.
In an encouraging move, the European Union (EU) agreed on a directive to improve cybersecurity capabilities in member states, share information and require certain industries to report incidents.
“Improving cooperation and information exchange between member states is a key element of the agreed rules and will help us tackle the increasing number of cyber attacks,” states Gunther Oettinger, European commissioner for the digital economy and society.
Barriers to International Collaboration
Though many countries are starting to coordinate their cybersecurity efforts, the fact that governments are launching state-sponsored cyber attacks on each other remains a barrier.
For example, the U.S. confirmed that Russian authorities launched cyber attacks on the Democratic Party ahead of the presidential election, which saw millions of sensitive emails leaked to the media.
While cyber espionage remains prevalent, countries can find common ground when fighting economic cyber crime. The U.S. and China agreed not to conduct or support cyber theft of business records, while still trying to hash out differences in policy.
The U.S. and EU also finalized an agreement to exchange more data during criminal and terrorism investigations. The deal took quite a while to finalize due to privacy concerns over America’s surveillance programs.
Finding Solutions for Global Cybersecurity
While there has been progress, some fundamental problems remain. There is no common template for cybersecurity policies, as each nation creates its own strategies.
Utica College offers a cyber policy degree that delves into the emerging industry needs and skills gaps, both domestically and internationally, that are shaping the evolving cybersecurity sector.
It’s vital that cybersecurity professionals understand the wider policy framework and international ecosystem that their cybersecurity efforts sit within.
Daniel Gerstein of the RAND Corporation, a non-profit policy think tank, believes that nations need to establish a framework of international norms, laws and arms control treaties to enhance cybersecurity and allow countries to defend their networks and assets. He suggests creating multilateral treaties to govern behavioral norms in cyberspace.
Regardless of the solution, cooperation among nations and organizations is critical to global cybersecurity. NSA Director Michael Rogers states that: “Cyber is all about the power of partnerships – our ability to bring together the government and private sector and partner across borders to deal with this challenge. We’re watching the world around us fundamentally change, and the challenge for all of us is how we recognize that change, acknowledge it, anticipate it and get ahead of it.”
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