Resilient against Cyber-attacks
The need for cyber security is growing fast in this ever-changing society. Having a resilient digital infrastructure is becoming more and more important. This importance was undoubtedly illustrated by the cyber-attack on the Tesco Bank in the United Kingdom. Cyber thieves attacked the online accounts of the customers of the bank, resulting in the loss of £2.5 million (€ 2.9 million). Money suddenly disappeared from the bank accounts of the customers, naturally causing quite a fright. The bank, however, thankfully reassured its customers that the lost money would be reimbursed. The Tesco Bank has around 7 million customers.
Our world is increasingly becoming more digitalised, where at one time you could only pay with paper and coins, you can now also pay with you bankcard using digital money from your bank account. These changes have helped the international trade and economies of different countries. However the digitization of our society has some side effects; new challenges from different sources arise by the digitization. Hackers challenge the security of sensitive company information, our privacy, and national security. It is therefore important that our digital world is secure, just like we protect our land by using dykes we need to protect our digital world by improving the dikes in that world.
The Tesco Bank breach was just one of the countless cyber-attacks happening around the world. According to a report of the CGI and Oxford Economics, UK investors have lost over £42 billion to severe public domain cyber security incidents since 2013. The worldwide damage of cybercrime was estimated to be around € 400 billion in 2014. If there are no serious measures taken in the future, the damage and cost of cybercrime will only continue to increase. If – and when – a cyber-attack occurs, crisis management is vital to prevent further damage from materializing. Supranational organisations like the EU have already taken some measures to prevent and limit cybercrime.
Cybercriminals use different ways to do their business. They use for example malware, ransomware, phishing, botnets, DDoS and bad hosting. Cybersecurity is very important for countries due to the ongoing digitization and the increasing connections to the critical infrastructure. Cyber sabotage results in the disruption of critical infrastructures and sectors in the country. It can disrupt the energy (electricity grid) and water supply as well as the payment transactions in telecom, all which causes significant damage to society and the economy. Cyber-attacks are also increasingly used by governments for cyberwarfare in conflicts and poses a significant threat to the national security of countries.