The Hague, the Netherlands
Today, Europol and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on decreasing systemic cyber risk and improving internet security throughout Europe and beyond. The signing ceremony took place at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.
As part of the MoU, Europol and GCA will fight cybercrime through the exchange of information on cybercrime trends and joint international projects to increase cybersecurity.
To this end, the two organisations will partner to offer best practice recommendations that help organisations secure their networks and domains through the Internet Immunity project. Europol and GCA will initially focus on improving adoption of the DMARC email validation policies, a vital tool that enables organisations to authenticate email and prevent spoofed and fraudulent email.
Additionally, as part of the common efforts in the fight against cybercrime, GCA has agreed to sign up as a supporting partner of the No More Ransom project. Due to continuous interest from public and private sectors, a third enlargement of the No More Ransom project is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
During today’s meeting, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) delivered presentations on key developments and the challenges ahead in the area of cybercrime.
Regarding the newly-established MoU with GCA, Europol Director Rob Wainwright highlighted: “Cybercrime and cybersecurity are cross-cutting issues, and key tools must be developed to keep cybercriminals at bay. This is all the more important considering that other crime areas, like for instance terrorism and human trafficking, are becoming increasingly cyber-facilitated. Therefore, establishing MoUs with organisations such as GCA, designed to confront, address, and prevent malicious cyber activity, is in line with the priorities described in Europol’s 2016 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA).”
“We are bombarded with news reports of cyber attacks and breaches that compromise sensitive information or impair the operations of critical services or infrastructure, but greater awareness of the problem has not led to greater security,” said Phil Reitinger, President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. “Cooperative relationships focused on outcomes, such as the one we are forging here today, will reduce systemic cyber risk in Europe and around the globe.”
“Given the importance of cybersecurity to citizens and institutions around the world, today’s announcement of the formal partnership between Europol and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is a critical development,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. “The partnership marks an opportunity for GCA to collaborate with European cyber experts and for members of Europol to learn about GCA and its innovative tools. As part of its core mission to reduce cyber vulnerability worldwide, GCA recently announced the release of powerful tools designed to combat phishing attacks and other cyber threats. These tools are free and available to organisations of any size, and it is my hope that through this partnership, others will be encouraged to develop and implement practical safeguards against malicious cyber activity. As a co-founder of GCA, I wish to thank Europol and Director Wainwright for their leadership and to congratulate GCA on this significant achievement.”
“Organisations and law enforcement need to take a page from our approach — by sharing knowledge, methodologies, tools, and best practices,” said Troels Oerting, Global Cyber Alliance Board Chairman and Barclays Group Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Group Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). “GCA’s partnership with Europol will strengthen our ability to work cooperatively across sectors and around the world to eliminate systemic risks to our cybersecurity.”
By Phil Reitinger
I hear talk all the time about a catastrophic cyber event. But just as concerning is a slow bleed. Let’s do some funny math.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that the loss from cybercrime was estimated to be $264 million in 2008. Later reports show this number climbing steadily. The Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee estimated the global loss as between $100 billion and $500 billion. More recently, the firm Cybersecurity Ventures estimated cybercrime would cost $6 trillion by 2021. That’s a growth rate of almost 120% each year.
With the global economy estimated to be about $90 trillion in 2020, if we project cybercrime growth outward from 2021 at only 100% growth per year, most of the world’s economic output should be consumed by cybercrime around 2025 – in the neighborhood of $100 trillion per year.
Now that is funny math at its finest. The 2008 figure of $264 million is almost certainly too low, looking mostly at reported crime. The 2021 figure of $6 trillion may be too high. And of course the loss from cybercrime could never approach 100% of the world economy – cybercrime isn’t that efficient.
So I can safely treat my own prediction of global economic collapse in 2025 as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). But even with all its flaws, the calculation raises an interesting point. There has been an ongoing debate whether the universe will end in a “Big Crunch” or a “Big Freeze” – will everything collapse back to the way it was before the Big Bang, or will the universe keep expanding until it goes cold? Exciting stuff! We can ask a similar question for cybercrime. Will the world economy experience a Cyber Armageddon, an event that throws the economy into a crisis that beggars the Great Recession and Great Depression, or will it continue to grow predictably but rapidly until total output of the world is a fraction of what it would be if we were cyber-secure?
By Tim Mitchell
When the Global Cyber Alliance was set up (unbelievably, it’s been a year), I was invited to contribute a blog post and I’ve recently realised with horror, that I haven’t done so. I’m not sure why, because after all, the subject we agreed on was ‘collaboration’ … and in truth, there’s nothing easier nor more logical to write about.
The GCA represents an outstanding example of collaboration. Close collaboration is the only way to fight cybercrime effectively. Not only at global level, but at country level, at agency level and at micro-level – between individual citizens and colleagues in offices. It enables bodies of experts, enforcers and educators to combine and engage with and persuade their audiences with authority and cohesion. It leads to virtual teams being formed, which, like any team, play to their members’ strengths and support each other. It presents a united front against fraudsters, hackers and abusers. It builds confidence, both within and outside the collaborative community. It enables a strong voice and robust lobbying.
When I think of the levels of collaboration that we achieve at Get Safe Online, it’s staggering. So who do we collaborate with, and how?
Firstly, there’s the British Government, from whom we receive a proportion of our operational funding. But this represents a considerably more in-depth relationship than merely a financial one. The Government has a very powerful cyber agenda with the objective of making Britain a safe place to live, work and conduct business in, and we share this agenda through robust links and collaboration with the Home Office, Cabinet Office and DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport).
There’s law enforcement. We enjoy mutually advantageous working links with GCA founder member the City of London Police. The force’s Commander Chris Greany – the national police lead for economic crime – is also Chair of our Steering Group. We also have a close working relationship with the National Crime Agency and its specialist sub-agencies. We work closely with many of the UK’s 43 police forces, providing cyber awareness expertise, resources and training as well as participating at outreach events, talking to the public and small to medium-sized businesses. And on a European level, we have a relationship with EC3, Europol’s cyber agency.
Industry regulators also form an important community for us, with joint messaging and joined-up campaigns for healthcare, telecoms, data protection, commerce, the charity sector and many others. The same goes for organisations like those respected institutions Neighbourhood & Home Watch, Citizens’ Advice and Crimestoppers.
Our valued community of private sector partners comprises leading companies in banking and finance, retail, telco and internet security. These relationships are crucial to us, with the partners cascading vital safety messages across both customer base and workforce, capitalising on our expertise and reputation, and contributing much-needed funds to our coffers. In turn, we work with them to improve their own external and internal education. At our public and business events, you’ll normally find representatives from our partner organisations speaking on their area of expertise or simply handing out jointly-branded online safety leaflets.
Last, but certainly not least, is the media. We work closely with national television, radio networks and the press, with our Chief Executive Tony Neate frequently being invited to talk about cybercrime trends and specific threats. British TV favourites Crimewatch, Rip Off Britain and breakfast television are just some of the shows frequented by Tony.
Cybercrime is global, fighting it is all about collaboration, and we applaud the work the GCA is doing to lead the way.