Today begins the 4th annual Cyber Intelligence Europe conference and exhibition, focusing on Cyber Security Threats and Challenges, Combating Cybercrimes, Crisis Response Management and International Cooperation.
We sat down with Eugen Valeriu Popa, Strategikon Vice-President.
Which are the most exposed industries to cyber attacks and why?
Into a globalized business network is no industry that hackers won’t target as long as they have something to gain from it. Any physical component connected to the cyberspace and any personally identifiable information has some value to someone, whether it will be used for identity theft purposes, for an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack or for something else.
Also, based on some data gather by law enforcement agencies from the hackers communities certain industries and verticals are far more likely to be targeted by cyber attackers than others by nature of the potential value of the data and other digital assets in their protection. As a result, any organization that has personally identifiable information is a highly prized target, and as long digitization of enterprise resources continues, this has grown from the basic military and critical infrastructure components, to include healthcare, government, finance, retail and education.
How important is regional cooperation in tackling cyber threats?
Cyberspace is becoming increasingly important for nation states from policy and diplomacy perspective, given its rising strategic importance. It has emerged as the fifth domain, after land, sea, air and outer space. One nation state’s efforts to strengthen its cyber space capabilities evokes a response by another state. The cyber security threat landscape is changing rapidly. Dependence on the cyberspace has led to proliferation of a diverse and complex range of threats.
The challenges of cyber security are faced by one and all, and it requires concerted efforts at all layers to effectively counter the growing menace. Collaboration is required at national, regional and global level. Clearer role of established institutions, comprehensive cyber doctrines and treaties will emerge sooner rather than later, with countries signing non-aggression pacts on cyberattacks, and forging cyber defence agreements that put cyberattacks in the same policy bucket as kinetic acts. Right from information sharing amongst trusted parties on security threats, to collaboration amongst Law Enforcement Agencies to bring cyber criminals to justice, to devising treaties and regulations for cyber domain, cyber security challenge is emerging as a big uniting factor.
Cyber security is indeed a multidimensional concept, a complex issue straddling many disciplines and fields. It is a global problem that needs global solution. No government can fight cybercrime or secure its cyberspace in isolation. Cyber security is not just a technology problem that can be “solved”; it is a risk to be managed by a combination of defensive technology, astute analysis and information warfare, and traditional diplomacy.
Which are the most common security issues that informational networks of public institutions are facing in the region?
There are huge human, social and economic costs: from crimes such as trafficking in human beings, trade in firearms, drug smuggling, and financial, economic and environmental crime. Organized crime groups involved in the smuggling of migrants exploit the vulnerabilities of people seeking protection or better economic opportunities and are responsible for the loss of lives in the name of profit. Organized crime also feeds terrorism and cybercrime through channels like the supply of weapons, financing through drug smuggling, and the infiltration of financial markets. Cybercrime is an ever-growing threat to citizens’ fundamental rights and to the economy, as well, as to the development of a successful Digital Single Market. As commerce and banking shift online, cybercrime can represent a huge potential gain to criminals and a huge potential loss to citizens. Cybercrime is by its nature borderless, flexible and innovative.