Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

The widespread loss of trust in the internet is the fifth greatest strategic risk facing the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019. The report indicates the scale of the challenges facing the security community, as well as the new opportunities and partnerships that can be forged to enable public good in this era of unrivalled technological change. Cybercrime will continue to be the security challenge of the 21st century.

In the context of cyber security as a major global risk, the global community needs to recognize that there is a “stunning enforcement gap”, as a recent report by the Third Way highlights. Not only is the current wave of cybercrime largely unseen, but the chances of being successfully investigated and prosecuted for a cyber attack in the US are now estimated at 0.05%. This mirrors similar reports from around the world. This is for a crime type that is predicted to be costing the global economy $6 trillion by 2021. For violent crime, the equivalent chance is 46%. The global community needs to ask itself why this is happening, and what can be done to change it.

One of the key reasons for the lack of progress in the successful investigation and prosecution of cybercrime is that the spotlight continues to be driven by a wider debate around national security concerns. Focus continues to centre on the implications of a relatively small number of high-end nation state threat actors. While this debate is undoubtedly important, it is distracting attention from the growing enforcement gap for digital crime, and from developing the new generation of capabilities required to close this gap. Attribution and enforcement of the law has to be part of the global architecture in building an effective response to a type of crime where “the majority of attacks, for the majority of the people, for the majority of the time” come from financially motivated crime groups. ..Read More..

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