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Cybersecurity has become a very familiar term that has drawn increasing awareness of the danger of leaving cybercrimes unpunished. Because the world is moving more toward online trading and e-commerce, and basically living virtually through social media, cybercrime has become a major threat to the global economy. The impact of cybercrimes on the economy is increasing and there are no signs that this impact will diminish. I will discuss important key points of the potential impact of cybercrime on the economy. First, cybercrimes are a serious issue and have a huge impact on the economy. Second, three important key issues in cybercrimes. Third, the role of united states government regarding the issue of cybercrime. Fourth, the role of people creating the technologies and how could they secure their technologies. Fifth, the role of citizens and people to prevent cybercrimes. Sixth, Leading Future Issues to be Concerned About With cybercrime impact on the economy.
First, cybercrimes are a serious issue and have a big impact on the economy. Cybercrimes, including cyber-attacks and cyber-espionage, have become everyday news headlines, not only in the United States but also globally. Very few countries have not experienced a cyber-attack. Cybercrimes have serious implications on the economy and are getting more dangerous and serious every day. Some reports estimated the losses caused by cybercrime to be $375 to $400 billion to the global economy each year (McAfee, 2014); a number this high illustrates the seriousness of the harm that can be caused by a weapon such as this. Whether it’s stealing hundreds of millions of people’s identities or stealing organizations’ and enterprises’ sensitive data, this type of crime costs the economy significant losses.
One can see how dangerous these types of attacks are by analyzing and investigating the major cybercrimes that happened over the past 10 years. The number of cyber breaches against the United States alone is astonishing, and the waves of cyber threats are occurring every day from countries like China and Russia. This makes the United States one of the most targeted countries in the world for cyber-attacks. This also creates the need for a type of holy warrior commissioned by God and dedicated to detecting and defending His people against these types of attacks.
When an enterprise suffers a cyber-attack, it may not survive and could be forced to shut down. This leads to another consequence, which is, increasing the unemployment rate thereby, also, affecting the economy. From attacking banks to taking down power grids, spying on government and military information, and shutting down networks, cybercrimes can launch a war between nations unlike any other. In an indirect way, this type of war would also drain the economy. The only way to be able to defend ourselves and our economy, in this case, is to know the key issues involved with this topic.
Second, A key issue in the impact of cybercrime on the economy is businesses underinvesting in cybersecurity. Companies underinvesting in cybersecurity is one of the major key issues that cause cyber breaches. Unfortunately, executives in some big companies don’t make their company’s information security a priority this can cause them to wake up to a massive attack. An attack such as this causes total business loss but could potentially have been avoided by investing in the company’s information security. There are many ways for a company to stay secured, like, hiring a security expert who can identify the company’s vulnerabilities and correct them. This expert can also train the users, increase their security awareness, and encourage them to follow security procedures. All these options are available; executives simply need to take advantage of these tools.
Another key issue is the need to create additional laws regarding preventing cybercrime. There is a strong need for a law requiring a business to hire or use the services of a security expert when the company reaches a certain value or size. This law would protect the economy and avoid as many losses as possible. Leaving such a critical decision to the business owners can cost the economy massive losses. Also, a law is needed which would obligate businesses to report any kind of cyber-attack that happens to the company and share the details with the authorities in order to prevent the same attack from happening again to another business while also improving the ability to detect threats.
A third issue is analyzing the techniques that are being used by the attackers which allow them to gain access to the company’s information. These techniques include social engineering, distributed denial of service, malware etc. Also, knowing the motivation behind the attacks whether it is political, profit, or because the cybercriminal is a hacktivist is important in order to be able to defend against these attacks.
Third, the United States government have a role the relates to the cybersecurity impact on the economy. The government has a vital role in protecting citizens from the enemy, whether visible or invisible. The government’s role in protecting the economy from cybercrimes is extremely important. It is the firewall and first defensive line against internal and external cyber threats. The U.S. government should establish authority over cyberspace and protect and secure it as it does with the land and borders. Failing to protect cyberspace can cause significant harm to the economy and can result in damage equal to that resulting from a major war.
The government’s responsibility should also include investing in cybersecurity research, maintaining awareness of the constant changes happening in this field, and increasing cyber defense capabilities by acquiring the necessary technology needed to combat cybercrime. Doing so will work to protect the country from the economic harm that might result from cybercrime.
Another responsibility is protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as power facilities, traffic control systems, and water treatment systems. According to Cylance, ‘Any cyber attack against an organization that provides critical infrastructure products or services presents a potentially significant risk to the American public,’ (Cylance, 2017). Attacks on infrastructure are increasing daily and hackers are using advanced techniques in their attempt to take advantage of infrastructure network vulnerability in order to cause damage to the economy.
The government has a significantly important role in protecting the nation from cyber terrorists. Cyber terrorists are defined as those ‘state-sponsored and non-state actors who engage in cyber attacks to pursue their objectives,’ (Theohary & Rollins, 2015). Such cybercrimes constitute a threat to the economy as well as national security. If any of the aforementioned types of attacks are successful, this can have extensive implications on the economy.
Fourth, the creators or developers of technology who produce technological items have a great responsibility towards the users of those products, the organizations, and the economy. Regardless of the size of the product whether software or hardware, a poor product can cause significant losses and harm.
One of the creators’ responsibilities is to not release any technological product without making sure that it is highly secured. Releasing an unsecured product can potentially allow hackers to take advantage of the product’s vulnerability and cause harm.
Another responsibility is to run tests on the product before it is released; these tests should cover the security and technicality of the product. During the testing process, developers should create a list of weaknesses or defects to be corrected; these tests should be repeated until the product meets the proper standards.
The responsibility of developers continues after the product is released. They should continue providing technical support and update services to keep their products current with regards to the latest threats and standards which may change after the product’s release.
According to Harris, creators ‘have a responsibility to alert the public to potential dangers from technology,’ (2014, p. 86). Because technology developers are introducing products for daily use, people should be informed about any potential threat to their health, privacy, or safety.
If the creators of technology do not adhere to their professional, ethical, and moral responsibilities toward the users and organizations, this can potentially open the door to more cybercrimes being committed. The harm that will come from these crimes, has the potential to bring significant loss to the economy.
Technology has become an essential part of people’s daily activities. Any weakness or vulnerability in technological products whether it is software or hardware will affect the economy and the people as well. Such dependency on technology places a large responsibility on the creators of that technology.
Technology creators are obligated to ensure that any product they are producing is meeting the highest possible standards of quality. Also, they should not release any new technology before applying the necessary tests to ensure that this product meets all the proper standards. In many cases, significant consequences may occur with regards to the economy, that could have been avoided by performing a simple test.
A failure in any minor detail or the creation of poor quality products can open the doors for many kinds of harm. For example, hackers can take advantage of product vulnerabilities to commit cybercrimes. According to Symantec, ‘Cybercrime costs the global economy up to US$575 billion annually,’ (2016, p. 30). This shows a lack of responsibility on the part of the creators in taking care of and protecting the people of God. It also implies a lack of faithfulness in their work because they are not fulfilling their responsibility to the best of their ability, rather they are taking the easy road and opting for higher financial gain and faster results.
The technology creators are also required to secure the users’ information whether the user is a business or an individual. Failure to protect the users’ information can lead to the occurrence of major cybercrimes, including information theft, financial theft, and espionage. Such cybercrimes will lead to potential disaster and drain the economy.
Fifth, consumers are one of the key factors for cybercrimes. According to Nicole Van Deursen, ’95 percent of information security incidents involve human error,’ (2015). A figure as high as the one mentioned compels one to study the most common behaviors that have a hand in causing the specific vulnerabilities which are used by the hackers to gain access to sensitive information. These behaviors including, leaving the computer unlocked, using personal devices at work, sharing passwords, not following proper security procedures, and using weak passwords, increase the vulnerability of the organization.
Since the internet and networks are managed and operated by humans, regardless of what the security measures are, human behavior will remain the most significant vulnerability and the most critical factor. Whether large or small, the above-mentioned errors are all a potential vulnerability which can cause harm. Due to the fact that all humans make mistakes, there is no way to prevent all of these errors from ever occurring. however, in this case, one should study, monitor and analyze potential threats and be prepared with ways to defend said threats and prevent them from going too far. A link should be made between the vulnerability that is found and the type of attack made. For example, studying the relationship between the specific type of attack that could happen when an end user opens an unsafe email attachment.
Irresponsible human behaviors, such as using weak passwords, neglecting system updates, and using personal devices for work-related communication are the most significant factor affecting network security likely resulting in a substantial strain on the economy.
Sixth, leading future issues to be concerned about with the impact of cybercrime on the economy. Cybercrimes are draining the economy and costing the nation billions of dollars every year. Currently, fighting cybercrime is getting tougher because hackers are rapidly changing their techniques and trying to be a step ahead of the available protection and prevention methods. There are no signs now indicating that the frequency of cybercrimes will diminish in the future, particularly due to the rapid spread of unknown source products, especially ones that are developed overseas where there are no cyber ethics. These types of products provide a more economical choice to the consumers instead of them having to buy a more expensive, well-known product.
One of the main concerns related to cyber leaks has to do with the person in charge of dealing with sensitive information. There is fear of having more people like Edward Snowden and others who consider themselves to be patriots and leak sensitive and classified information to the public. Such an act can cause significant harm to the economy and can put people’s lives in danger. Generally, information leakers have many followers and supporters and have even become role models to some people. This fact increases the chance of this behavior being repeated in the future.
Hacking a computer or a network is the common definition of cybercrime to many people, but on the contrary, cybercrimes have a much wider definition. Technology will soon be involved in the field of transportation, including, self-driving cars and drone aircraft. This new field is raising a new red flag which is the possibility of hijacking car navigation systems, drones, and airplanes. The consequences that can result from such cybercrimes are frightening and can potentially cause significant harm to not only the economy but people’s safety as well.
In Conclusion, Defending the world, and its economy is not only the job of the governments, nor does the responsibility fall solely on the shoulders of private citizens or corporate entities; it is a shared role that all must participate in together. Increasing cybersecurity awareness is the only way that we as a global community will be able to properly defend ourselves against cybercrimes.
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