Poor Cybercrime Prosecution Rate Can Stifle IT Growth
August 08, 2016 | Cybercrime, Prosecution Rate, Identity Thefts, Financial Data Breach, Cybersecurity Regulations, Access Control
As businesses across the world grapple with growing incidents of identity thefts, financial data breaches, and other forms of cybercrimes, governments and central banks are developing tougher cybersecurity regulations.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India, the nation’s central bank, asked banks to urgently prepare a cybersecurity policy to thwart internet-based threats to banking system. The concern is quite understandable. As internet usage expanded in India, cyber-frauds jumped 19 times in the last ten years.
Not surprising the global demand for cybersecurity professionals is on a rise. (ISC)2, a security certification and industry body, estimates that the global demand for cybersecurity professionals would exceed supply by a third at the end of the decade, the Financial Times reported last year.
But are regulators doing enough to tackle growing cybercrime? Are prosecution rates good enough to instill fear among cyber-frauds?
Last year, India saw 11,592 cases of cybercrime, a jump of about 20% from the preceding year. During the same period charge-sheets got filed for 3,206 cases; out of which, only 234 cases resulted in convictions. There is a strong possibility that some of the cases that secured convictions were pending from the last year.
One of the reasons why the prosecution rate in India remains abysmally low is that trained cybersecurity professionals are often transferred. As a result, trained officials struggle to pursue cyber-fraud cases. The situation underpins (ISC)2 study, which calls for more numbers of cybersecurity professionals. Besides, ambiguity over who has the adjudicating power—state, federal government or the local police—also lead to delays in prosecution.
Likewise, in Britain, although the cybercrime prosecution rate increased a by a third last year from the earlier year, overall prosecution rate remains low given the businesses in the UK suffer millions of attacks every year. 61 cases secured convictions last year in Britain, up from 45 in 2014. To counter cyber-threat, the government in the UK increased its cybersecurity spending to £1.9bn by 2020, which includes opening a National Cyber Centre and Institute for Coding.
Such measures should help reinforcing cyber-defense. However, concerned authorities around the world will need to do more to address this issue. We live in a knowledge-driven world, relying on ‘Big Data’ analytics. And since data sells, it incentivize cyber-frauds to steal data by taking advantage of poor identity and access controls. Identity thefts, data-breach incidents inflict significant financial losses to organizations. But that’s not all. It can also stifle investments, and knowledge transfers. The fact that hackers eye intellectual property make organizations increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime.
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