Circling the wagons against “cybercrime”

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Here’s a scary statistic to contemplate: according to analysis conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the number of “cybercrime” incidents reported by federal agencies this year alone are up 680% since 2006.

And when you then sit back and think about just how much trucking is being encouraged – if not forced outright – to use electronic mediums for communicating all manner of data, especially cargo manifest information, such a huge increase in “cybercrime” should provide a big moment of pause for any freight hauler.

As a result, experts in the “cybercrime” filed now feel that it’s time to engage in bigger strategies to combat this growing problem – in particular urging businesses, local governments and university officials to forge partnerships in order to more effectively fight all manner of electronic criminal activity.

Along those lines, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) is hosting a series of free lectures – presented in collaboration with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation – that begin this week to encourage more public and private collaboration against cybercrime.

[More importantly, NYU-Poly has joined with other NYU schools to form the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP) – a consortium designed to research new approaches to security and privacy by combining security technology, psychology, law, public policy and business. You might want to keep their contact information handy.]

The first talk in this serieswill be given this week by Marcus Sachs, VP- government affair and national security policy at Verizon. Entitled Cyberspace Allies: How Public/Private Partnerships Can Fight Back, his talk will discuss the new threats posed by criminals who exploit private computers, steal intellectual property and engage in espionage while also reviewing longstanding threats to transportation, utilities and military infrastructure and commerce.

This series is also going to discuss new and emerging attacks on personal computers, intellectual property and nation-state sponsored cyber attacks from the likes of: Edward Amoroso, senior VP and chief security officer for AT&T; William Pelgrin, president and CEO of the nonprofit Center for Internet Security; and Paul Mahon, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service New York Field Office, which includes the Electronics Crimes Task Force Network Intrusion Squad.

By the way, in case you are wondering why this is a big deal, this call for public/private collaboration to fight cybercrime is a significant departure from previous policies that urged government and business to maintain separate national security and intellectual property defenses.

“Cybersecurity is more important than ever not only for the public sector, but the private sector,” noted Verizon's Sachs. “Our ability to fend off increasingly sophisticated attacks can be improved by pooling our resources and intelligence to safeguard our national systems, critical infrastructure and our country's intellectual property. Without a collaborative approach that's both flexible and highly responsive, we will remain at risk.”

It’ll be interesting to find out what new approaches will be recommended – and what role trucking will be expected to play in the effort to thwart cybercriminals. 

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