July 6, 2011

Agency Formed To Fight Against Cybercriminals

The U.K. government last year identified cybercrime as being second only to terrorism. Such a threat has made it necessary for a new alliance to form between businesses, the U.K. government and international police forces like the Europol.

The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) has been set up to fight against cybercriminals on a global scale.

"Active international partnerships are central to tackling cybercrime," James Brokenshire, a U.K. Home Office (Interior Ministry) Minister for Crime and Security told Reuters. "There needs to be an international response including international treaties, bilateral treaties and common agreements between countries."

Major security companies that include McAfee, Cassidian, Trend Micro, Yodel, Core Security Technologies, Visa Europe, Shop Direct group, A&REdelman, Transactis and Article 10 are reportedly in full support of the venture.

In addition to forming relationships between businesses, governments and law enforcement agencies around the world, the not-for-profit organization will also invest time and money into training and building an international exchange of experts, reports BBC News.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said last week that "cybercriminals were outwitting national and international legal systems that fail to embrace technological advances."

"ICSPA's goal is to improve international law enforcement capability and capacity to help protect businesses and their customers against this unprecedented threat," U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who welcomes the alliance, said.

The cost of cybercrimes to the British economy runs about 27 billion pounds ($43.5 billion USD) a year and is considered to be "endemic," according to the official government's estimate published in a February 2011 study.

Brokenshire said that even as the Internet brings great opportunities to individuals and businesses, it has also brought with it criminals who are able to operate "across national boundaries."

"Criminals aren't inconvenienced by national boundaries and cybercrime is a truly global problem," he said.

"ICSPA and its partnership with Europol will bring together a range of resources, tools and expertise to crackdown on cybercriminals and strengthen our response to online crime."

The alliance seeks funding from the European Union as well as governments of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and private sector companies, reports Reuters.

"Our government has already injected an additional £650m to help improve our national infrastructure and protect against cybercrime," says Cameron, "but the very nature of this threat calls for more than a national response; it demands a truly global response and that is what the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance is all about."

"Cybercrime is a truly global problem and to tackle it we need strong partnership between countries and across private and public sectors," Brokenshire says.


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