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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Last updated on: November 30, 2011 15:25 IST

Image: Businesses and governments are reaping the rewards of the cyber world.

Businesses and governments the world over are reaping the rewards of the cyber world, from social networking to cloud computing.

The problem is that many of them have not yet got a handle on the risks - particularly at the most senior level.

Here we take a look at cybercrime threat in 21 countries, including India, based on PricewaterhouseCoopers study.

Click NEXT to see the threat in India...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Mumbai, India.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

India

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 24 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 18 per cent

Since the rise of the Internet, people have perceived cybercrime, traditionally, as an external threat.

Forty-six per cent of global respondents have a similar perception.

Click NEXT to see 10 countries that reported high levels of fraud...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Nairobi, Kenya.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Kenya

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 66 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 57 per cent

But the survey results suggest that the perception of cybercrime is changing, and that organisations are now recognising the risk of cybercrime coming from inside.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

South Africa

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 60 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 62 per cent

Fifty-three per cent of the respondents who said the cybercrime threat was an internal one believe that there is a risk from the information technology department.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: London, United Kingdom.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

The United Kingdom

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 51 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 43 per cent

It's not surprising that many respondents think this, because they expect IT personnel to have the necessary skills and opportunity to commit these crimes.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Auckland, New Zealand.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

New Zealand

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 50 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 42 per cent

In particular, IT personnel might have 'super user' access, which gives them extra administrative rights to access systems and the ability to delete audit trails, making it harder to detect their wrongdoing.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Madrid, Spain.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Spain

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 47 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 35 per cent

But it is interesting to see that respondents realise other departments, like operations (39 per cent), sales and marketing (34 per cent) and finance (32 per cent), also pose risks.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Melbourne, Australia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Australia

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 47 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 40 per cent

Respondents believe the risk of cybercrime is least likely to come from the human resources (14 per cent) and legal (eight per cent) departments.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Argentina

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 46 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 39 per cent

But organisations shouldn't ignore these departments, as cybercrime can happen anywhere - for example, a malicious employee with access to confidential HR data or legal documents.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Paris, France.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

France

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 46 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 29 per cent

As well as direct financial costs, there are other commercial consequences, such as reputational/brand damage, poor employee morale or service disruption.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: New York City, United States.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

The United States

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 45 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 35 per cent

PwCsked organisations if they thought the risk of external cybercrime mainly came from inside their own country or from abroad.

The countries most mentioned by those respondents who said the threat came from outside their country were Hong Kong (and China), India, Nigeria, Russia and the US.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Malaysia

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 44 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 28 per cent

These countries were perceived to be the most likely origins for perpetrating cybercrime.

This is only a perception, as cyber attacks can be initiated from anywhere in the world and attribution is extremely difficult.

Click NEXT to see 10 countries that reported low levels of fraud...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Bucharest, Romania.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Romania

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 24 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 16 per cent

For example, there is no evidence to suggest that Nigeria is a hi-tech crime hub, but people might consider emailbased scams, like those asking for payments in advance (so-called '419' frauds), as a form of cybercrime.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Stockholm, Sweden.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Sweden

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 22 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 19 per cent

The high ranking of the US and India suggests people think countries with IT-savvy populations and where online shopping has taken off are higher risk.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Bratislava, Slovakia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Slovakia

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 21 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 29 per cent

The reality is that cybercrime is a real global threat that can come from anywhere, and is not restricted by jurisdictional boundaries like many other conventional crimes.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Istanbul, Turkey.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Turkey

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 20 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 15 per cent

Just as black markets exist for consumer goods, criminal exchange websites, like Dark Market, are emerging, where stolen credit card details are sold for as little as a few cents.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Geneva, Switzerland.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Switzerland

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 18 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 17 per cent

There is also the new form of political activism, 'hacktivism', with the Anonymous group as the leading perpetrators.

They recently hacked into major credit card companies because those companies withdrew support from WikiLeaks, and threatened to expose members of a Mexican drug cartel for kidnapping one of the Anonymous hackers.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

The Netherlands

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 17 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 15 per cent

PwC asked organisations what aspects of cybercrime they were most concerned about. Forty per cent of respondents mentioned reputational damage.

Other high-ranking risks were the theft or loss of personal data, IP theft and service disruption.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Rome, Italy.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Italy

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 17 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 19 per cent

Because organisations are very concerned, particularly about reputational damage, it is important for them to show they are the most secure business in the market if they want to gain competitive advantage.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Athens, Greece.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Greece

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 17 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 23 per cent

Sixty per cent of respondents said their organisation doesn't monitor the use of social media sites, or they are not aware of any monitoring policies.

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21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Slovenia

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 17 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): N/A per cent

This is startling, given these sites can present significant security risks if employees and hackers abuse them.

...

21 countries and the threat of cybercrime

Image: Jakarta, Indonesia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

Indonesia

Respondents who reported fraud (2011): 16 per cent

Respondents who reported fraud (2009): 18 per cent

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn might not be the real source of cybercrime, but criminals can use them to socialengineer cybercrime more effectively.