Europol to lead International Cyber Security Protection Alliance consultation into the future of Cybercrime

19 July 2012
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Alliance to pool intelligence from business, government, law enforcement, security agencies and professionals

The Hague, July 18, 2012.

One of the largest international consultations into cybercrime has been launched to help governments, law enforcement and businesses get a head start on cybercriminals.

Called Project 2020, the study by ICSPA (International Cyber Security Protection Alliance) and led by its strategic law enforcement partner Europol will analyse current trends in cybercrime and how they may evolve over the next eight years and beyond.

The European Commission recently designated Europol as its information hub on Cybercrime and asked the agency to establish theEuropean Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

The Threat

The past few years have seen the industrialisation of cybercrime, where criminals can draw on an entire supporting infrastructure of criminal service providers – from web hosting to generating credit card verification data. With more information about all of us on the web than ever before, we have also seen a sharp increase in targeted cyber attacks, including so-called spearphishing.

Europol expects these threat scenarios to evolve rapidly: Cloud computing services mean that we don’t always know to whom we are entrusting our data, while the “internet of things” could see the hacking of medical devices and key infrastructure components.

“With two-thirds of the world yet to join the internet, we can expect to see new criminals, new victims and new kinds of threats,” says Dr Victoria Baines, Strategic Advisor on Cybercrime at Europol.

The Project

What makes Project 2020 unique is that it will combine the expertise of leading law enforcement agencies with that of the ICSPA’s member companies, organisations and professional communities. 

Also participating in Project 2020 are the City of London Police, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), and experts from two global professional communities - the International Information System Security Certification Consortium(ISC) and the International Association of Public Prosecutors.

Among the business members joining Project 2020 are payment services firm Visa Europe, home shopping retailer Shop Direct Group, customer insight and fraud prevention services firm Transactis and logistics company Yodel. They will be joined by seven of the world’s leading cyber security companies: McAfeeCGI Canada, Atos, Cassidian, Digiware, Core Security Technologies andTrend Micro, who have thousands of experts analysing security issues 24/ 7, all of whom will feed their expertise into the study.

Project 2020 is an international effort to provide insight into how cybercrime will develop.  The project will deliver information and recommendations that raise awareness amongst governments, businesses and citizens to help them prepare their defences against future threats. The Project will deliver policy briefs and white papers on evolving threat scenarios, and establish a monitoring mechanism to assist organisations that combat cybercrime.

“Cybercrime evolves as quickly as technology, and technology develops so quickly that the unthinkable becomes mainstream before we can imagine.  Furthermore, criminals today can still surprise us as they move from region to region around the world.  We have the groups around the table who can make sure this will no longer be the case,” says Europol’s Dr. Baines, who will be the Project Director for Project 2020.

For more information on Project 2020 visit  The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) website