Cybercrimes have dominated news headlines and discussions so much so that we now risk getting paralyzed by this global problem. This is according to Yury Fedotov the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Cybercrimes (UNODC).
Cybercrimes have extended into homes, school, hospitals, businesses and other crucial service providers which amplify the problem and show the extent to which the threat has gone. The unprecedented move is immense, from Dark web marketplaces selling illegal weapons, drugs, and ransomware attacks, as well as, online child pornography.
The damage caused by this threat to the safety and sustainable development economically is immense with the recent estimates indicating that cybercrimes put the cost over $600 billion.
The task of keeping people safe online is enormous putting in mind that no single government or entity has a perfect complete solution to this threat. However, there is still much that we can do to strengthen our safety and prevention measures online. This includes building up an extensive law enforcement agency to shore up the existing gaps in cybersecurity especially in developing nations.
Secondly strengthening international cooperation and dialogue between governments, the United Nations and the INTERPOL.
There is a wide range of cyber-dependent crimes. This includes cyberbullying, malware proliferation, hacking ransomware, email phishing for data theft, online child pornography, and others.
All police, judges, prosecutors, should be properly equipped with the necessary skills and tools to be able to investigate, go after the criminals and prosecute them. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Cybercrime, over 50 countries are working together to provide necessary training on online investigative skills, the use of software to detect online illicit materials and to trace cryptocurrencies.
For instance, in one of the training delivered in partnership with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Facebook, a high-level paedophile with more than 80 victims was arrested and convicted. This is just a single example demonstrating what capacity building efforts and partnerships with private sector and NGOs can do to help reduce the threats.
UNODC is closely working with the Internet Watch Foundation and launched an online child sexual abuse reporting platform in Belize. This is to give the citizens opportunity and initiatiev to come forward and report cases against abusers. More partnerships with Pantallas Amigas and Thorn have been initiated to help strengthen online protection as well as educating the local communities on cyber risk.
The UNODC training in the first butch focused on the Middle East and North Africa, Central America, South East Asia and Eastern Africa. The training basically helps in online investigation skills, identification, and collection of digital evidence, confrontation of dark web use for criminal purposes.
The entire project is being funded by well-wishers and donor governments. This has been boosted by an Intergovernmental Expert Group which meets at Vienna UNODC headquarters. The effort includes providing financial support to the developing countries which have the highest number of internet new users who more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is now clear that despite economic and political differences, nations can work together to fighting cybercrimes.
The group of experts was established by the General Assembly to bring different policymakers, diplomats, and experts from all over the globe to discuss most agent challenges in cybercrimes as well as show willingness by different countries in the fight against the today’s threats.
The fight against cybercrimes can help build peace among the nations, save lives and bring growth and prosperity. By strengthening partnerships between business community and private sector as well as law enforcement capabilities so that all become part of the solution can help us go a long way in the right direction of ensuring the internet is a positive force.