Today’s economy is becoming more and more centred on digital technology, with innovation coming at a faster pace than ever before. How conscious would you say people are of the new risks and dangers of cyber-crime?
With the economy, as you rightly say, being based more on digital technology, enterprises are basing their operations on the digital aspects. The more the economy goes digital, the more threats there are and the more complicated they are: it’s a vicious circle. Unfortunately, the awareness of the impact is not that profound in small and medium-sized enterprises and firms; they think it will not happen to them but that it will hit large organisations and hence do not invest much on security. Similarly, large organisations think that it will hit elsewhere and delude themselves into thinking that they are investing enough in security. However, large organisations have a larger surface of attack: they have more employees, more transactions and more entry points in general – making them targets. Make no mistake – the threats are there for both.
What is the extent of cyber-crime in this day and age and what is its economic impact?
It is on the increase. Internationally, there is an attack – not necessarily a successful one – every 39 seconds. It is also estimated that 43 per cent of cyber attacks target small businesses. The percentage is increasing, and it will continue to do so as things become more complicated and sophisticated.
Photos Alenka Falzon
What forms can cyber-crime come in and can everyone be affected by it?
Basically, there are two forms. The most common one, strangely enough, is attacking the weakness of the person. This is done through social engineering: an email is sent, the recipient thinks it is a genuine email, when in fact it isn’t, and clicks the link th ..