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Managing the risk of cyber threats

Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing and innovative areas of crime. More and more criminals are exploit-ing the speed, convenience and anonymity modern technologies offer for committing a diverse range of criminal activities.

Be it an attack against computer data and systems, identity theft, the distribution and dissemination of images and videos of child sexual abuse, internet auction fraud, the penetration of online financial services, as well as the deployment of viruses, Botnets and various e-mail scams, such as phishing, cybercrime is rampant. The internet is also being used by terrorists for recruitment of their followers and for the incitement and encouragement of radicalisation.

Cybercrime transgresses geopolitical borders. The global nature of the internet is allowing criminals to easily commit almost any illegal activity anywhere in the world, posing a serious threat to national and international security.

Cybercrime is no longer being committed by individuals or small groups of individuals. There is now an emerging trend with traditional organised crime syndicates and criminally-minded technology professionals working together and pooling their resources and expertise.

In 2007 and 2008, the cost of cybercrime worldwide was estimated at approximately $8 billion. As for corporate cyber espionage, cyber criminals have stolen intellectual property from businesses worldwide worth up to $1 trillion.

It is therefore essential that we are prepared to adapt our domestic offline controls to cover crimes carried out in cyberspace and to address security vulnerabilities related to information technology infrastructure, such as power plants, electricity grids, information systems and the computer systems of central and local government as well as those of organisations in our financial institutions and in the private sector.

The Malta Association of Risk Management will be holding a half-day seminar addressing cybercrime on June 24 at the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra, to address these risks. The seminar will be opened by Home Affairs and National Security Minister Manuel Mallia.

The line-up of speakers will include Wouter Stol from the Open University of the Netherlands and NHL University of Applied Sciences; Antonio Ghio, head of the ICT Law Department of Fenech & Fenech Advocates; Inspector Timothy Zammit from the Cybercrime Unit of the Malta Police; Daniel Gambin, head of risk and fraud with the Unibet group; and Donald Tabone, associate director, KPMG Information Protection and Business Resilience Services.

For more information and registration, send an e-mail to [email protected].

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