There’s no denying that the Internet has become one of the most powerful tools in the modern world. From research and communications to entertainment and law enforcement, there isn’t a sector nowadays that doesn’t use the Internet in one way or the other.
In the same manner that almost anything can be opened up for abuse, however, the Internet has also become dangerous. Indeed, one of the most pressing concerns for pivate and public sector organizations these days is cybersecurity and how both ends of the spectrum—the consumers and the businessmen or public servants—can fight and protect themselves against cybercrime.
There isn’t a clear cut solution at the moment. However, the world in general can take some steps to guard against cybercrimes. Here are a few.
Harness the Power of Real-Time Data Analtyics and AI
Fortunately for businesses and law enforcement agencies (and unfortunately for cybercriminals), everything you do on the web leaves a trace. These bits and pieces of data come in handy in detecting suspicious activity, predicting cyber attacks, and preventing them before they happen.
Take money laundering for example. Automated anti-money laundering solutions can sift through millions of data logs from banks and other financial institutions each day, flagging any activity that is indicative of money laundering and other acts of fraud. This is made possible by artificial intelligence and real-time data integration and analytics tools, which make it possible for organizations to use up-to-date data to discover patterns in customer, employee, or outsider behaviors. Human analysts can then confirm the resulting data to determine which threats are legitimate.
Combining human intelligence and machine learning, AI solutions can “learn” from their mistakes and fine-tune their own algorithms to get better at identifying data security breaches and other cyber criminal activities.
Building a secure network to share information is also important. Fighting cybercrime is a collaborative effort, and combining resources is a key to a more effective and coordinated approach. This will help facilitate discussions and knowledge sharing, among others, and in turn improve techniques, develop more tools, trigger international cooperation, and even aid in crafting legislation to address the various facets of cybercrime.
Teach and Promote Responsible Internet Citizenship
Using the Internet irresponsibly and without proper knowledge is like using something without first reading the instruction manual. You can definitely get along swimmingly, but you won’t have a proper idea what to do when something goes wrong. Teaching and reinforcing the importance of the responsible and critical use of the Internet goes a long way.
A few of the most important lessons to teach are the following: (1) using Internet security software (the proverbial antivirus), (2) using legitimate and updated software, (3) being conscientious in using social media and other Internet-based applications, (4) employing strong passwords, and (5) recognizing signals of a cybersecurity threat.
Law enforcement agencies should also emphasize to citizens that cybercrime is like any other crime, and thus should be reported to the authorities. Some people think that cyber security threats and attacks aren’t something that the police and other law enforcement agencies deal with, which is detrimental to the overall efforts against cybercrimes.
Don’t Forget Known Threats
Sometimes, in our efforts to combat every modern security threat and prevent the creation of new ways to commit fraud and other crimes, we forget that there are old but still considerable threats that we haven’t overcome. This is called the availability bias — people focus on what’s currently happening and think of how likely it is to happen again to the extent of completely ignoring other threats.
One of the most common headaches, so to speak, of IT practitioners and cybersecurity experts is the default bias, in which people don’t change the default settings of their computers to improve security even if they already know or have an idea what it can do. The default bias then gets in the way of peer enforcement, in which people tend to copy other people’s’ behavior. In this case, being more proactive in preventing cybercrime. By thinking of ways to reduce or eliminate default bias, a simple yet complicated problem in one, then other cybersecurity measures could be made more effective.
Cybercrime cannot be completely eliminated. Criminals will always find ways to conduct their schemes and victimize others. However, through the collective efforts of all the parties concerned, incidences of cybercrimes can drastically be reduced — which is the next best thing.