Saturday, March 25, 2006

Is Cybercrime Overtaking Physical Crime?

Is cybercrime costing corporations more money than physical crime? IBM seems to think so and has published a survey:

Nearly 60 percent of American businesses believe that cybercrime is hurting them more than physical crime, according to a recent IBM survey. Companies surveyed in healthcare, finance, retailing and manufacturing say cybercrime has cost them revenue, current and prospective customers and employee productivity.

And businesses think it’s up to government, both federal and local, to rein in cyber criminals, which they see as increasingly sophisticated and organized. In contrast, another IBM survey found that more than half of consumers hold themselves most responsible for protecting themselves from cybercrime,

"U.S. IT executives are making it very clear how seriously they take cybercrime threat, both from internal and external sources," said Stuart McIrvine, director of IBM's security strategy. "Paralleling their growing awareness of the impact of cybercrime on their business is the view that this is not a battle they can fight wholly on their own. The nature of crime is changing, and businesses, technology providers and law enforcement must work together to ensure the right safeguards are being put in place to securely operate in today's environment."

Businesses see big bite from cybercrime

This comes on the heels of another well read speculation that cybercrime is more profitable than the narcotics trade (courtesy of Fox):

No country is immune from cybercrime, which includes corporate espionage, child pornography, stock manipulation, extortion and piracy, said Valerie McNiven, who advises the U.S. Treasury on cybercrime.

"Last year was the first year that proceeds from cybercrime were greater than proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs, and that was, I believe, over $105 billion," McNiven told Reuters. "Cybercrime is moving at such a high speed that law enforcement cannot catch up with it."

For example, Web sites used by fraudsters for "phishing " — the practice of tricking computer users into revealing their bank details and other personal data — only stayed on the Internet for a maximum of 48 hours, she said.

Asked if there was evidence of links between the funding of terrorism and cybercrime, McNiven said: "There is evidence of links between them. But what's more important is our refusal or failure to create secure systems, we can do it but it's an issue of costs." - Business News - Expert: Cyber-Crime More Profitable Than Drug Trafficking

Some will dispute these statements, but the evidence is growing that we have a serious problem with cybercrime that is unlikely to go away very soon.

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