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The Rising Need for Anti-Cybercrime Initiatives

People have some real legitimate concerns about Big Brother. When some of the details of PRISM went public, we really started to realize just how much the government can and does spy on us. They can trace what you’re doing on Facebook, they can tap into your phone records and they can know all sorts of things about you without you realizing that they’re snooping through your private data.

But that’s “just” (and believe me, I use “just” very loosely here) the government spying on individual citizens. Unless you really have some deep, dark secrets to hide about your wheelings and dealings that you don’t want the government to know about, there isn’t all that much of a concern about them knowing that you called up your girlfriend and chatted on the phone for over an hour last night. You know, aside from invasion of privacy and violation of rights.

The thing is that things could be much, much worse. It used to be the case that crimes largely happened within individual countries and then they could be investigated and dealt with by the individual jurisdictions. If someone robbed a bank in New York, the NYPD could get on the case to find and arrest the bank robber. He’d be put through the justice system so law and order could be maintained.

The Internet has changed everything.

The guy robbing the bank doesn’t need to be at the bank to take their money. He doesn’t even need to be in the same country. He could be lounging around in some Internet cafe halfway around the world as he hacks into the bank’s computer system and deposits all those fractions of a penny that are generated with interest payments. And it could take the bank a long time before they even realize they’re being robbed. Cybercrime is very real and it needs to be appropriately addressed on an international level.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be all that prudent to wait around for the governments of the world to get together to solve this problem. We know the pace at which the bureaucratic process can snail along at a municipal or federal level, so you can only imagine how long it would take for a broad-sweeping international initiative to be deployed. This is why personal responsibility is so important. This is why companies have to take care of themselves.

If your company uses computers and it is online in any way shape or form (so that’s pretty well everyone), then you need to have anti-cybercrime systems in place. You could hire someone with a computer forensics degree to head up such an operation, because he or she would have a much better understanding of how a hacker could weave their way into your company’s servers. It’s about the dollars and cents, but it’s also about all that confidential data you have on there. You don’t want to have that compromised.

An increasingly large proportion of our lives are now lived online. The anti-cybercrime steps have to be taken not only on your computer, but also on every other web-connected gadget that you might have. That smartphone or tablet could be a huge point of vulnerability and it could be overlooked by the IT people. And that could be an “in” for the hacker.

This is why I really appreciate the “hackathon” type events that some companies put forth, challenging the community to find exploits and backdoors in their products and services. This way, they can be suitably patched up and the rest of us can feel just a little safer.

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