March Is Fraud Prevention Month At ICPEN

Hackers are costing consumers and companies between $375 and $575 billion annually according to the most recent statistics from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Ponemon Institute disclosed that cybercrime in this country has risen nineteen percent over the past year.

dv563009For developing countries, hacking adversely affects employment because the net effect of cybercrime is to shift employment away from jobs that create the most value. The International Trade Commission reports that recent cybercrime activities cost Americans 200,000 jobs.

Company costs are high to contain these threats. According to Ponemon, it takes an average of 46 days to contain a successful attack after it has been detected. Containment costs run as high as $43,000 per day. And all companies will, at some point, fall victim to cybercrime to some degree.

Each year, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) sponsors Fraud Prevention Month, a series of consumer focused thematic educational campaigns run in ICPEN countries.  The overarching goal is “to educate consumers about fraud and raise awareness of misleading or fraudulent business practices.” Among those countries represented in ICPEN are Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Both consumers and businesses must work in partnership to reduce cybercrime and its negative impact on national economies. “Cybercrime damages trade, competitiveness, innovation, and global economic growth.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security hosts its own cybersecurity awareness month in October of each year. Goals of the annual campaign mirror those of ICPEN.

data security gettyIf you want to take a look at the baddest of the bad guys of cybercrime in this country, you can check out the FBI’s “Most Wanted List” for cybercriminals –

Here’s a teaser. Number one at the time of this posting is Firas Dardar. Die-hard fans of the list will want to check the site often to keep current.

From the FBI site.

“Firas Dardar is wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group that is alleged to have committed hacks in support of the Syrian Regime. Dardar’s involvement is specifically linked to crimes committed between September 2011 and January 2014, during which time he allegedly committed numerous attacks against the U.S. government, media organizations and private companies under the nickname “The Shadow.” Beyond that, he’s also accused of committing cyber extortion schemes that targeted both U.S. and international companies.”

Most cybercriminals are not of this ilk. In a November 2016 article, CIO describes the majority of cybercriminals as individuals with no prior criminal record, no ties to organized crime, a steady day job, and earnings from cybercrime activities between $1,000 and $3,000 per month. In many cases, college is where it all began. Motivations of these criminals differ greatly from those on the Most Wanted List.

Bottom line though. Knowing your adversary underscores successful strategic response.

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