Over the recent years, countries across the world have witnessed major advancements in information technology. European Union has been one of the major regions, which has witnessed tremendous advancements in Internet infrastructure. The region has high Internet adoption rates and broadband connections. The Union plans to implement e-governance between Brussels based EU parliament and 27 member-countries. However, high Internet usage makes EU susceptible to cybercrime and cyber-attacks.
Recently, Europol, EU’s law enforcement agency released a report highlighting the threats posed by cybercrime. According to the report, the dynamic nature of cybercrime makes it inevitable for all stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, academic institutions, Internet service providers, financial institutions and Internet security firms to collaborate with each other and enhance information security awareness among the people. The collaboration may facilitate information sharing, development of technical tools and promote research and development to counter cybercrime.
Crime has evolved as an organized activity and criminals are using a combination of online and offline channels to perpetuate crime. The growth of crime has led to the creation of illicit markets for selling stolen information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, names, date of birth and contact details. European Union countries must make efforts to create awareness among Internet users against sophisticated crime mechanisms such as social engineering techniques, data breaches, online solicitation, installation of botnets, and abuse of unsecured wireless connections. Internet users must be made aware of the risks involved in online payment transactions and downloads from suspicious sites and unsolicited e-mails.
The organized cybercrime syndicates have clearly defined specialists for code writing, Internet hosting, launching phishing attacks, pharming and hacking among many others. Countries need to create a strong force of information security professionals to deal with the constantly evolving crime in the Internet environment. The all-pervasive nature of Internet facilitates criminals in initiating crime from any part of the world. Businesses worldwide are forced to spend considerable resources to deal with cybercrime. Organizations can streamline Internet infrastructure by availing services such as penetration testing, security auditing, ethical hacking, and vulnerability assessment. Such services may help in proactive protection against dynamic threats in the IT environment.