If you can t beat them, recruit them: enlist young hackers to fight cybercrime, says infosec chief

Cybersecurity A poacher-turned-gamekeeper approach is needed to encourage younger hackers to turn use their skills for positive impact and help companies tackle cybercrime, a cybersecurity chief has suggested. Dr Jamie Graves, CEO of cybersecurity firm ZoneFox, says: At a time when cyber-crime continues to cripple companies and over two-thirds of businesses can t find enough talent to defend their company against cyber-threats, we should be asking how we can get these talented young hackers to fight crime, not contribute to it. His comments are in response to recent research by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which has found that peer respect and popularity are motivating factors for young cybercriminals.

According to the study, some offenders begin by participating in gaming cheat websites and game modification forums before progressing to criminal hacking forums. While Graves agrees that targeting and removing the free tools that exist online that allow hacking to take place must be a focus, more innovative approaches are needed. Such is the global shortage of cybersecurity skills, professionals can command huge salaries He says: We live in a country where technology encompasses every inch of our daily lives especially the younger generations. The report details that criminal hackings are considered cool and done to impress peers. Now is the time for the UK to really focus on tackling this by putting an emphasis on trying to flip young people s attitudes on cyber-security from bad to good . As well as avoiding the risk of getting a criminal record, so-called ethical hacking offers a powerful financial incentive. Such is the global shortage of cybersecurity skills, professionals can command huge salaries. The global cybersecurity workforce is expected to have 1-2 million jobs unfilled by 2019. The report, titled Pathways into Cybercrime , which is based on debriefs with offenders and young people on the fringes of criminality, explores why they are assessed as unlikely to commit more traditional crimes get involved in cybercrime.

According to the report, financial gain is not necessarily a priority for young offenders. The sense of accomplishment at completing a challenge, and proving oneself to peers in order to increase online reputations are the main motivations for those involved in cyber criminality. One offender, who was jailed for Computer Misuse Act and fraud offences, told officers, it made me popular, I enjoyed the feeling I looked up to those users with the best reputations . The report also highlights that there is no socio-demographic bias, with people across the country from different backgrounds among offenders. However, the average age of cybercriminals is much younger than other crime types. In 2015, the average age of suspects in NCA cybercrime investigations was 17 years old, compared with 37 involved in drugs crime cases. Ensure a solid security strategy at Borders & Infrastructure Expo Join other high-end security professionals at the launch of Borders & Infrastructure Expo, in conjunction with Europe s most renowned security event, IFSEC International, addressing your critical needs for large-scale security projects.

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