Cybercrime, either at individual or national terrorism levels is a threat to the people of the state. Cybercrime directed towards individuals infringes on their privacy, and at times causes financial or property loss, identity theft, and bullying. Terrorist cyberattacks on institutions are broader in their aims and target organizations’ systems, government systems, and other national institutes systems to steal information, cause malfunction or to simply declare their stand. The institution’s loss and damage resulting from terrorist cyber-attacks are enormous, and the aggregate loss surpasses several billion per year. As technological advancements heighten, hackers invent new ways of cybercrime, making it increasingly difficult to counter terrorist cyber-attacks. This essay will aim to prove that these attacks pose a greater threat to the United States as a whole, than to sepaprate individuals, because the effect, damage and loss resulting from them are devastating and it is increasingly difficult to take action against cyber terrorists and virtually impossible to secure institutions’ complex computer systems completely. This topic is my favorite from 324 business essay topics list.
First, looking at the threats cybercrime poses to individuals, it is evident that these are mostly related to identity theft, the financial loss of individuals and harassment. Cybercriminals aiming at individuals seek to steal personal information to use for withdrawing money from their accounts or for identity stealing purposes. In other cases, there is bullying and harassment where the criminal maligns the victim, using the personal information, like pictures or images, stolen from the victim. The sufferers have financial losses, the aggregate sum of which is less than a billion USD per year. Moreover, such crimes are committed by the individuals with less sophisticated means, thus are easier to reprimand. The effects of cybercrime on individuals are incomparable to a national threat, affecting the economy of the US, the well-being of the public and the security of the whole nation.
Cyber-crime on the national level is, as discussed below, a rather more significant issue. According to Brenner 2013, the risk of cyber-attacks on national institutions is high, while the resilience of the systems and adaptability of the latter is not catching up. It is not only the US problem, however. For instance, in 2015 a hacker took control of Prykarpattyaoblenergo Control Center, Western Ukraine, causing a six-hour blackout to more than two hundred thousand people living in the region. Before this 2015 attack, there were many other attempts targeting power and communication networks, banks, and manufacturing enterprises among others. In 2003, a cyber-attack left the Northeast region of America in blackout for two days, leading to eleven deaths and more than six billion dollars damage. Brenner points out that in the account of such cases institutions should strengthen their security by network isolation and industry control systems to reduce the accessibility of hackers.
Keith B. Alexander, Emily Goldman, and Michael Warner argue that the majority of cyber-attacks on institutions are conducted by individual criminals for pleasure, money, as well as on orders from competitor nations and states, which seek to instill the financial havoc within the target country. Taking action against such attackers is almost impossible considering there is little evidence incriminating the nations. Furthermore, there is no way to punish the other nations for such actions. Proving it is hard enough, whereas retribution is factually impossible.
Lastly, Filshtinskiy writes that detecting cyber criminals is extremely difficult as they are constantly advancing in sophistication of their approaches, increasing efficiency, and using elaborate means to move away from the eyes of the law enforcers and the public. The selling and buying of cybercrime tools go on in the virtual space, where law enforcement is all but impossible. Sadly, as technology advances, hackers are advancing at a faster rate than the security systems developers.
Nevertheless, Filshtinskiy also offers a differing opinion, stressing that the media frequently overstate most of the cybercrime cases. Unlike other authors on the issues, Filshtinskiy argues that even most complex cyber-attacks are launched by other states. He contends that cybercrime is practiced by various hackers of all levels of expertise, not necessarily belonging to states. With this argument, Filshtinskiy implies that it is possible, though difficult to reprimand the offenders as individuals, without looking at them as states.
In conclusion, terrorist cyber-attacks on institutions are a greater manace than cybercrime targeting individuals. Although it causes much damage, its effect is negligible compared to that of the pan-national terrorism cybercrime. When hit the national institutions systems, it harms huge numbers of people dependent on those systems simultaneously. Another problem is that these criminals are advancing in the complexity of the nature of their crimes much faster than those developing protection from their products. National organizations should invest more into ensuring the security of their systems to reduce the financial losses and the damage they infringe.