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December 13, 2010

VIII - Cyber crimes – issues, problems and perspectives

Government action and international treaties aiming to harmonize laws and coordinate legal procedures are key in the fight against cyber crime, but warns that these should not be relied upon as the only instruments able to meet the challenge of combatting online offenders should be recognized. Cyber crime is a technology-created problem and it requires a healthy reliance on technology-based solutions.

VII. The Role of Industry

 The ICT (Information Computing and Technology) industry must be at the forefront of efforts to combat cyber crime.  It is at the leading edge of innovation, providing technology and solutions to fight cyber attacks, and has a unique role to play as a leader, advocate and partner
All industry members should also be committed to participate in the development of codes of behaviour and ethics around computer and Internet use, and in campaigns for the need for ethical and responsible online behaviour.  Given the international reach of Internet crime, computer and Internet users around the world must be made aware of the need for high standards of conduct in cyberspace. 
Computer operators have an important role to play in protecting their systems against cyber attacks.  They have a duty to act responsibly, to assign top priority and adequate resources to systems defence, and to adopt available technologies and solutions to protect their systems against invasions.  As more and more attacks are perpetrated through the use of unwitting third-party systems, operators must make their own systems secure to ensure that they are not used as instruments in attacks on others.
The ICT industry can also play a key role in preventing cyber crime by making every effort to address weaknesses in network defences, to ensure that their products and services are secure, and by helping to raise awareness with regards to the importance of systems protection.  Just as automobile manufacturers provide maintenance instructions to ensure the safety of vehicles, ICT companies should provide their clients with the information they require to continually protect their systems and data. 
In addition, ICT companies should, when security vulnerabilities are reported with regards to particular technologies or online services, alert their customers and provide them with the patches required to remedy the problem.  It is believed that in the future, the ability to provide secure systems and transactions will represent a significant competitive advantage.  Success and growth in the new economy will accrue to those companies that are able to provide this assurance. 

VIII. The Role of Government

Various initiatives have been proposed by governments to protect data networks from intruders.  Among the options put forward has been the establishment of systems that monitor Internet traffic.  While these would certainly be effective at preventing some attacks and would undoubtedly increase the likelihood of identifying the source of intrusions, it is virtually impossible to police all of cyber space, and the risk to personal privacy is in any case too high. Maximum emphasis should instead be put on establishing effective protective measures.

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