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Multipoint Strategy to Fight Cybercrime

In order to effectively fight cybercrime and make a meaningful impact to this problem, McAfee is focusing on three core areas: Legal Frameworks and Law Enforcement, Education and Awareness, and Technology and Innovation. In addition to financially-motivated cybercrime, McAfee is expanding the reach of our Cybercrime fighting Initiative to incorporate the protection of critical infrastructures worldwide.

Specifically, McAfee and its Advisory Council members will be working on six areas we feel are critical to the success of this endeavor:

Criminal system education and awareness

  • Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement, particularly in developing economies, often lack the knowledge to effectively bring cybercriminals to justice from beginning to end. Law enforcement agencies also do not always know how to find, arrest and prosecute cybercriminals. We must do more to ensure law enforcement officials around the world have the knowledge, skills, and capacity to properly fight cybercrime, and that laws are improved to better penalize the criminals and assist law enforcement.

Modernized and uniform legal frameworks

  • The global nature of cybercrime makes arresting and prosecuting cybercriminals difficult. Currently, the legal frameworks that apply across borders to address emerging threats are not functioning well, often times hobbling investigations. We must encourage ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.
  • Cybercrime laws are not current and contain loopholes. We must assist lawmakers in understanding where laws must change to empower those who enforce laws and prosecute crime.
  • Penalties for cybercrime are weak. Criminals serve less time for stealing millions online than they do for knocking off a convenience store, if they ever get caught. We must work with lawmakers to improve penalties.

International cooperation

  • The cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting cybercriminals needs to improve to function more effectively. Governments, Service providers, financial services providers, security experts and others, who can have an enormous impact on the success of global investigations, must be engaged across borders and encouraged to work together.
  • We must provide technical, business process, and policy advice to leaders in both the executive and legislative branches of government as they tackle the challenge of protecting the critical infrastructures of the U.S. and other countries.

Research

  • Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and criminals are consistently developing new approaches. More research must be done in a collaborative manner to effectively combat these threats and ensure protections are improved for consumers, businesses, government and our critical infrastructure industries.

Innovation

  • Criminals have exploited software vulnerabilities and human psychology to spawn a broad range of malware and threats including spyware, phishing, botnets, adware, rootkits, spam and unsafe Web sites and malware has increased dramatically over the past two years.
  • The quality of software is insufficient. While the dominant operating system has improved, application level software has not.
  • Cybercriminals have evolved and improved their organization and use of social engineering.
  • To address these issues, the security industry must work on multiple fronts to advance solutions to these problems.
  • In the area of critical infrastructure protection, greater dialogue is necessary between those producing solutions and those implementing. This ensures the right solutions, with a focus on the availability of the network, are available for the critical sectors.

User education and awareness

  • While functionally impossible for computer users to grasp the particulars of security, we must make them aware of the basics. Today, too many users treat their computers much like some do their front door: they leave it unlocked and therefore vulnerable. We need to increase "street smarts" so that users are no longer easy victims, therefore disrupting the economic model of cybercrime.
  • We must continue to work with businesses to ensure they have the insight into today’s threats and how they can improve their security practices.
  • McAfee must work with Critical Infrastructure sectors to understand the importance of security and security best practices and thus ensure our global critical networks as resilient as they need to be.

Read more in the McAfee Multipoint Strategy to Fight Cybercrime.