miercuri, 31 martie 2021

Cybercrime, cybersecurity now urgent issues in Romania

By Elena Yaneva Ott, Special Correspondent for ABC News Transilvania

In a world full of advancing technology, cybercrimes are at their highest point in 2021. According to the FBI report on cybercrime, the worldwide cost is over $1 trillion, an increase of 50% compared to 2018.

The risk of cybercrimes substantially increases the need to secure the use of online resources and IT security, to combat the spread of cybercrime and increase public awareness of the threat. Many insurers in Europe are now offering cyber insurance to companies and other IT firms are offering technological fixes. 

Here are some of the most interesting and scary cybersecurity statistics:● Global cybercrime costs will reach $ 10.5 trillion annually by 2025.● Ransomware is the №1 cybersecurity threat in 2021, and the average ransomware extortion is over $1,000.● More than 70 percent of businesses are not prepared for security breaches.● Study shows that human error causes 90 percent of security breaches.● The cybersecurity market is expected to earn 300 billion dollars in 2024.

Cybercrime is expected to be up to five times more profitable than global and transnational crime combined. Drugs and human trafficking for oil theft, illegal extraction and fishing, and arms trafficking, is only estimated to generate between $ 1.6 trillion and $ 2.2 trillion in profit per year.

As a result of these trends, the European Union decided in December to create the European Cybersecurity Competence Center.  Bucharest has been chosen to host among several other European capitals – Brussels, Bucharest, Vilnius, Luxembourg, Warsaw, León and Munich. The Romanian capital will distribute EU and national funding for cybersecurity.

Romania has proven to be a hotspot for IT specialists. The country is ranked third in EU statistics for woman employed in tech and companies such as Microsoft have a huge presence.  A recent check of an employment Web site found 57 open IT jobs at Microsoft in Cluj-Napoca. However, this skill has a dark side as well. Râmnicu Vâlcea is a small Romanian town, but it also has a nickname: Hackersville. 

According to authorities, these cyber schemes have stolen in tens of millions of dollars over the past decade. In 2020, a joint action between Europol and Eurojust was successful in bringing down a criminal group involved in financial fraud, cybercrime and money laundering that cost an estimated  €20 million losses per year for victims across Europe.

The world is also familiar with one of the most famous Romanian hackers Guccifer — whose real name is Marcel Lazar Lehel – because he gained access to information about current and former high-level government officials all around the world for several years and also hacked the email accounts of the Bush family in the United States.

To combat these threats, Romania also has been one of a handful of countries that have gone full-steam ahead in drafting new, stricter policies for telecom operators to decrease reliance on Chinese 5G equipment. This has been marked as an important step in the direction of building a more secure cyber environment. 

The cybersecurity industry as a whole is also experiencing rapid growth amidst these growing threats, which means that companies of all sizes are spending a lot of money on security. Based on current trends, experts predict that the global cybersecurity market will grow by up to 10% this year to $ 60 billion.

According to a study released in Energy Industry Review, a Web site, Romanian companies are inclined to increase their spending on enhancing the cybersecurity of their business, and 62% of the Romanian companies consider cybersecurity a key priority for their business.

Once a host for the world’s top hackers, Romania is now at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. Romania’s modest location, cheap living and the level of top IT professionals are creating great conditions for investments.  IT has long been one of the major sectors of the Romanian economy. The value of the business sector has reached more than $6 billion euros by the end of 2020, according to the country’s investment promotion agency, Invest Romania.

“Romania is currently one of the largest pools of talent in the IT&C space,” said Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threats analyst at Romanian antivirus and cybersecurity giant Bitdefender. 

Likewise, Bitdefender partners with universities and high schools in training the next generation of IT specialists.  A future goal of Romanian cybersecurity companies is to strengthen the security at home and boost Romania’s role in the global cybersecurity space. The idea is to create “an ecosystem” already being nurtured by courses offered by Cyberint, at several universities across the country.

The unemployment rate in cybersecurity is close to 0 percent, due to the huge demand for specialists in the industry. The average cost of a company data breach is $3.86 million dollars. Companies that open the door to a cybersecurity breach are not prepared for these attacks and only about 38% of global companies think they could deal with a large cyber attack if it happens.  According to FireEye, up to 53% of cyberattacks go undetected, meaning many companies are still unaware that their systems have been breached.

Many business owners believe that investing in a wide range of security tools is enough to prevent damage from cyber attacks. However, the same FireEye report states that despite the deployment of several cyber-threat services, more than half of the attacks remain completely undetected. These statistics are another indication that companies need to improve their existing security measures.

That’s why a lot of companies are turning to cyber insurance companies for help. Cyber insurance generally covers your business’ liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver’s license numbers and health records.

With the number of cybersecurity threats growing annually, business will continue to lose profit from future attacks.  As countries begin to take this threat more seriously, the talent previously reserved for the criminal underworld, will now be hired in countries like Romania as top IT specialists to fight back against cybercrime.  The race between criminal enterprise, industry and government for the top cyber security talent, is the modern-day war.

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👍 Cybercrime, cybersecurity now urgent issues in Romania

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