I love attending conferences, especially since you get such a diverse group of speakers covering a wide variety of not just security, but cloud issues too. One of the more interesting presentations I stumbled across was delivered by a speaker who spoke nothing about technology, yet presented some of the most compelling information on why cybersecurity is one of the hardest issues to manage on a global scale. Here’s what he spoke about.
When it comes to dealing with the widespread increase in cybercrime, the real reason that there may never be any teeth is that in some ways it is a victimless crime. Think about it, one of the most common forms of cybercrime, breach and copying of credit card information, used to be a huge issue. I personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t had their credit card compromised at this point. It’s incredibly common if you figure not just through cyber breaches, but even just regular credit card skimming at gas stations and the like.
So what happens when your credit card is compromised? Usually the credit issuer calls you, and you verify the transactions. If there is anything that is unauthorized, the bank or issuing company refunds the money to your card, your card is cancelled and you get a new card in the mail. As a “victim”, it’s really more a hassle than anything else, there really isn’t much to it. It’s not like other types of crime where there is irrevocable damage.
But unfortunately because these crimes are seen as “victimless” (ok, yes, the banks do cover the costs, but sadly, it comes from all those bank fees us as consumers pay to them) there really isn’t much motivation for law agencies to get involved. And if there is no reason for law agencies to be involved, the chances of governments to crack down on these things isn’t all that likely either.
So how did we get to the state where suddenly credit card breaches aren’t all that big of a deal anymore? It’s a disturbing place to be since it means that there are lesser penalties for these types of crime, yet the amount of potential victims is huge. It’s a shame, since the widespread population is paying the price for the laidback policies and laws that are protecting the largest source of information in the world.