As technology advances, the rise of cybercrime has also increased. Hackers target financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and government agencies. The costs of cybercrime are estimated to be in the billions of dollars each year, and this number is only expected to grow.
The role of government in combating cybercrime has never been more important, as attackers become more sophisticated and the stakes continue to rise. Fighting cybercrime requires all stakeholders, from governments to the private sector, to work together. However, it’s the government that should be at the forefront of this battle by playing the following roles:
1. Allocating Funds For Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is critical in protecting systems and data but is expensive. The cybersecurity costs are expected to exceed USD$10.5 trillion by 2025, so the US government needs to allocate adequate funds to combat this growing threat. The funds will strengthen cyber defenses, investigate attacks, and prosecute offenders.
Failure to allocate enough funds for cyber and intelligence capabilities will be an advantage to hackers as they will continue to attack government systems with little consequence. Fortunately, several countries have realized the importance of investing in cybersecurity and have started allocating bigger budgets to this purpose.
For example, the federal government in Australia has earmarked AUD$9.9 billion for cybersecurity and intelligence services. This will strengthen the cybersecurity space in their country. Click to find out more about how they will use the budget to fight cybercrime.
2. Create Cybersecurity Regulation And Policies
Governments also need to create regulations and policies to help combat cybercrime. The policies should address different aspects of cybersecurity, such as incident response, data security, and network security. The regulations will help ensure that all organizations, including government agencies, take the necessary steps to protect their systems and data.
It’s not enough to create these regulations and policies; they must also enforce them. Otherwise, organizations will not take them seriously and continue to operate without adequate security measures. The government should lead by example and ensure that its agencies comply with the regulations.
For example, the US government has implemented several regulations in the health industry, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HIPAA Security Rule requires healthcare organizations to implement security measures to protect patient data. It has also created the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, strengthening critical infrastructure cybersecurity.
The Australian government has passed the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018. The act strengthens the country’s cybersecurity laws and creates new offenses, such as those related to cyber espionage and cyber warfare. The act also gives law enforcement agencies more powers to investigate and prosecute cybercriminals.
3. Raise Public Awareness
Governments must also raise public awareness about cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves. The general population is often the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Hackers will target them with phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other types of malware.
The government can help individuals and organizations defend themselves against these attacks by raising public awareness. It can provide educational resources like articles, tips, and webinars. It can also run awareness campaigns, such as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. During this month, the general public will be made more aware of the importance of cybersecurity and how to protect themselves.
Governments can also work with businesses to provide training on cybersecurity best practices. The goal is to ensure that employees are familiar with the nature of various threats and how to handle such incidents within their organizations.
4. Provide Cybersecurity Agency And Services
The government can also help organizations by providing cybersecurity resources and services. The US government provides the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) with resources and services to help protect critical infrastructure. The agency offers incident response services, vulnerability management, and risk assessment.
The Australian government has established the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC). The CSCRC is a research organization that works with businesses and academia to improve cybersecurity in the country. The CSCRC also provides training and resources on cybersecurity best practices. These agencies are in charge of helping organizations protect themselves from cyberattacks. The agencies are also responsible for defining the scope of the country’s cybersecurity space.
5. Have A National Recovery Plan
No matter how robust your cybersecurity system is, there’s always a chance that there will be a successful attack—as such, having a recovery plan in place is essential. The government can help organizations develop and implement a recovery plan. The goal is to ensure that the organization can quickly and efficiently recover from an attack. It can also provide resources to help organizations during and after an attack.
Such resources include cybersecurity awareness and training programs. The program provides resources and guidance on responding to and recovering from a cybersecurity incident. The government can also provide funding to help organizations rebuild after a successful attack. This will cushion small businesses and help them quickly get back on their feet.
6. Strengthen Relationship Between Stakeholders
Fighting cybercrime is a national effort that requires the cooperation of various stakeholders. Governments need to work with businesses, academia, and law enforcement to improve cybersecurity in the country. The goal is to have a coordinated effort to combat cybercrime effectively.
For example, the government can develop cybersecurity frameworks and define roles and responsibilities. This will incentivize businesses to share information about cybersecurity threats and incidents. By facilitating a seamless flow of information between companies, customers, and government agencies, it becomes easier to combat cybercrime. It also makes it easy to identify and track down weak points that hackers can exploit.
7. Enact Strict Cybersecurity Laws
The government can help improve cybersecurity by enacting strict laws. These laws will help to deter cyber criminals and make it easier to prosecute them. It can work with businesses to create industry-specific regulations. The goal is to ensure that companies take the necessary steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks. For example, the Cyber Incident Response Teams (CIRT) are responsible for responding to and investigating cybersecurity incidents.
If criminals are caught, there should be strict penalties in place. The punishment should be significant enough to deter others from committing the same crime. It can also create a national cybercrime reporting system. This will make it easy for businesses and individuals to report incidents. The information can be used to track down and prosecute criminals.
The government has a vital role to play in combating cybercrime. It can help businesses and individuals protect themselves from attacks and provide resources to help organizations during and after an attack. Overall, these actions can strengthen the relationships between the people and the government.