New security initiatives set up to tackle cybercrime across the world

New security initiative aims to bring more countries into the fold when tackling cybercriminals

Governments around the world are being urged to take the threat of cybercrime more seriously as a new initiative is set to bring help to countries looking to keep online scamsters at bay.

Security organisation ICSPA and software company Trend Micro, held a meeting last week in Washington DC in an attempt to involve American security experts and law-makers in a co-ordinated attempt to build a ‘global cyber-nation’.

According to John Lyons of ICSPA, the American meeting was an attempt to build on a similar event in London, with the aim of building a global consensus on cybercrime and launching a number of initiatives to help overseas law enforcement agencies.

Lyons said that one of the initiatives, Project 2020 will look at the evolution of cybercrime looking at the methodology of organised criminals and the devices they use. The project will involve coordination between law enforcement agencies, businesses and vendors.

One of the problems that Lyons highlighted was in the lack of security within ICT products themselves. He said that one of the aims of the initiative was to start addressing vulnerabilities in products before they hit the market, adding that, despite the claims of vendors to take security seriously, the rhetoric didn’t always match the reality. “It’s not my experience that manufactures release products out in the market before they’re ready. They’re under pressure from sales and marketing to get a product out of the door and security is often overlooked.”

Lyons cited the emergence of the smartphone as an example of a product that’s been shipped out before security concerns had been addressed and noted that it was currently a particularly fruitful area for cybercriminals.

The second initiative arising from the ICSPA/Trend Micro meeting is an attempt to work with come Commonwealth countries in improving their abilities to tackle cybercrime. “Between now and Christmas, the Commonwealth will select which countries want to work with us – there are plenty of candidates,” said Lyons. “We’ll be donating our expertise in those countries, we’re not been forcing ourselves on them.”

He said that the aim of the project will be to provide these countries with a legal framework and a more ‘cybercrime-aware’ law enforcement facility. “We’re doing this under the banner of economic stability and growth – it will provide stability and help law enforcement agencies attack criminal groups and we’ll be  able to help those emerging countries to be less vulnerable to state-sponsored attacks.”

Lyons said that one area that it would be hard to tackle were instances of state-sponsored cybercrime but said that initiatives being announced would help some of the countries a bit further behind the curve be more secure.

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