Global cyber security consultation launched
Dubai, August 2, 2012
The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) has launched a global consultation, which will be headed by its law enforcement partner Europol to analyse current trends in cybercrime and how they may evolve over the next eight years and beyond.
Called Project 2020, the study has been launched to help governments, law enforcement and businesses get a head start on cybercriminals.
The past two years have seen the industrialisation of cybercrime, where criminals can draw on an entire supporting infrastructure of criminal service providers – from web hosting to generating credit card verification data, said John Lyons, chief executive of ICSPA.
With more information about all of us on the web than ever before, we also have seen a sharp increase of targeted cyber attacks, so-called spearphishing, he added.
“During the past 24 months, critical infrastructure in countries around the world has been under daily cyber attack from both organised criminal networks and state-sponsored entities,” Lyons said.
Europol expects these threat scenarios to evolve rapidly: Cloud computing services mean that we don’t always know to whom we are entrusting our data. The “internet of things” could see the hacking of medical devices and key infrastructure components.
“With two-thirds of the world yet to join the internet, we can expect to see new criminals, new victims and new kinds of threats,” said Dr Victoria Baines, strategic advisor on Cybercrime at Europol.
What makes Project 2020 unique is that it will combine the expertise of leading law enforcement agencies with that of the ICSPA’s member companies, organisations and professional communities.
The European Commission recently designated Europol as its information hub on Cybercrime and asked the agency to establish the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). Also contributing to the study will be the City of London Police and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).
Among the business members joining Project 2020 are payment services firm Visa Europe, the UK’s largest home shopping retailer Shop Direct Group, customer insight and fraud prevention services firm Transactis and logistics company Yodel.
They will be joined by seven of the world’s leading cyber security companies: McAfee, CGI Canada, Atos, Cassidian, Digiware, Core Security and Trend Micro, who have thousands of experts analysing security issues 24/ 7, all of whom will feed their expertise into the study.
Also participating in Project 2020 are experts from two global professional communities - the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 and the International Association of Public Prosecutors.
“During the past few years increasingly sophisticated and highly targeted cyber attacks have resulted in significant losses – not only financial but also, potentially even more worryingly, of intellectual property in defence and aerospace, oil and petrochemicals, financial services, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals,” said Lyons.
“Cybercrime is notoriously difficult to tackle given the international structure and capabilities of some of the criminal networks we see in operation. It used to be inherently difficult to combine international efforts to fight cybercrime; this Project will for the first time, bring together experts globally, with a remit to identify and fix weaknesses in our systems before they come to market.”
Project 2020 is set up as an international effort to provide insight into how cybercrime will develop. The project will deliver information and recommendations that raise awareness amongst governments, businesses and citizens to help them prepare their defences against future threats.
The project will deliver policy briefs and white papers on evolving threat scenarios, and establish a monitoring mechanism to assist organisations that combat cybercrime.
“Cybercrime evolves as quickly as technology, and technology develops so quickly that the unthinkable becomes mainstream before we can imagine. Furthermore, criminals today can still surprise us as they move from region to region around the world. We have the groups around the table who can make sure this will no longer be the case,” said Europol’s Dr Baines, who will be the project director for Project 2020.
"Cybercriminals are by nature difficult to police given the trans-national efforts they undertake to evade detection,” said Anthony O'Mara, global head of Business Operations, Trend Micro, a global cloud security leader.
"We're very pleased to be an active member of the ICSPA working with Europol, governments, industry and business sharing a common goal of sharing knowledge, skills and resources and meeting our company’s vision of a World Safe for Exchanging Digital Information. Project 2020 shows that the ICSPA is not just a talking shop, but will challenge business to recognise the need to share beyond their company borders." – TradeArabia News Service