Cyber Changing the Way Crime is Fought

INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime has said that the ability for the world’s law enforcement agencies to do their jobs how they have in the past is being challenged like never before.

Craig Jones was speaking after more than 400 experts from law enforcement, the private sector, and academia met at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague for what is one of the world’s biggest cybercrime events.

Under the theme of ‘Law enforcement in a connected future’, the 7th Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference looked at ways how to effectively combine the expertise, resources and insights of law enforcement, the private sector and academia to make the internet a more secure environment, especially in a society, which is becoming increasingly dependent on digital capabilities.

Mr Jones said: “With cybercriminals constantly evolving and transforming their tactics, the traditional model of policing is ‘being challenged like never before.

“The cybercriminal world is agile and adapting, connecting and cooperating in ways we never imagined even just a few years ago. Law enforcement must adapt to this ever-changing criminal environment in order to effectively protect our communities in the cyber domain.”

The conference saw Europol’s 2019 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) that found cybercriminals continue to become more audacious, shifting their approach away from scattered to more focused, carefully crafted attacks against larger, more profitable targets with the potential for ominously greater damage and major disruptions.

The conference called for greater cooperation in a range of areas if cybercrime was to be effectively tackled.

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC): while BEC is not new, it is evolving, causing increasing economic damage. BEC exploits the way corporations do business, taking advantage of segregated corporate structures, and internal gaps in payment verification processes.
  • Dark web: as the dark web evolves, it has become a threat in its own right, and not only as a medium for the sale of illicit commodities such as drugs, firearms or compromised data. The impact of law enforcement action in this arena is palpable as the environment remains in a state of flux.
  • Research & Development: Technology develops at an ever increasing pace, creating new challenges and opportunities for law enforcement. Adding to this the data volume challenge, legal challenges and a constantly expanding threat surface, there is a need for research and development to develop solutions addressing the needs of law enforcement in an efficient and agile way.
  • Innovation: The incorporation of innovation, as part of an effective crime response, is not exclusively a private sector affair. Europol and INTERPOL already cooperate with industry partners and academia to identify challenges and opportunities for law enforcement arising from new and emerging technologies, such as 5G.