Leading expert in the field of digital forensics and cyber security, Dr Darren Hayes, articulated deeply on this issue at a seminar themed, “The Forensics of Cybercrime” facilitated recently by ACCA Caribbean, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce.
Hayes is the director of cyber security and an Assistant Professor at Pace University, New York. He is listed as one of the top ten computer forensics professors by Forensics colleges, and has developed a computer forensics program at Pace, including a computer forensics research laboratory at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
Hayes continuously conducts research with his students at Pace, in support of law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally. He is also a professional consultant in computer forensics and cyber law for the Department of Education, New York.
In providing a 360 degree perspective on this scourge, Hayes articulated on the major factors that contribute to the challenges being experienced within both local and international communities.
“Skimmer fraud, installation of devices in credit card and AT M machines, selling credit cards online, accessing individuals’ personal information that can be used to reset passwords, bank information and email information,” were among them, he said.
Attention and focus must also be paid to the types of organisations which would be most vulnerable and at risk to incidents of cybercrime. In responding to this, Hayes stated: “Small businesses that accept credit card payments may be at risk, due to the fact that they may not be fully resourced with IT security staff as well as the latest software.” In terms of the vulnerability which may lay at the hands of governments, Hayes noted that “with many hackers passionate about politics, government leaders are the most vulnerable for attacks, particularly within their private domain.” Some may argue that insufficient attention is being paid to treating with cybercrime by both world leaders and CEOs globally.
“To effectively deal with this issue, there needs to be more investment in training those involved with cybercrime investigations,” Hayes said.
“The University of the West Indies needs to consider introducing degree programmes in the areas of cybercrime, cyber security and intelligence, which would address the needs of solving local crime and protecting national security.” The implementation of laws that were established to treat with cybercrime incidents is also a major concern for Hayes. “Laws in Trinidad and Tobago are not as draconian and robust as in the United States to prosecute cybercrime offenders, laws are only as good as the number of prosecutions.” Looking beyond the present, Hayes has suggested that governments, businesses and individuals, exercise greater vigilance, foresight and monitoring which can be an excellent start in addressing the issue of cybercrime.