Email Data

Digital crime

We all like freebies, don't we. Offering a product for nothing is a proven way of gaining subscribers to an email marketing list. And who could resist taking possession of a USB stick found in the car park outside your offices?

The recent successful attack on Talk Talk’s data should ensure that anyone involved in email marketing and with control of a considerable amount of digital data, will take great pains to keep it safe, not only because of the penalties that might be imposed, but the fear of what it could do to a business. Social media would ensure that it would become common knowledge.

I had a talk with one of the first Digital Crime Units set up in the UK last week, and I was told, rather prophetically, that large companies are attacked on a daily basis and some hacks will be successful. I came away stunned and with an intent to immediately check all systems. 

The first thing I was told was that, despite the unit's title, there is no such thing as digital crime. A much more accurate title would be crime. It is the same old offences, just a different modus operandi. And that was the end of the jargon.

It is a complex subject, and one that develops over time. As soon as a form of protection is found to one threat, another appears. The old saying was never more appropriate: a fence only keeps out those who don't really want to get in.

The full extent of the problem is not known as companies are reluctant to admit that their security systems have been found wanting. Whilst there is a requirement for such notification in certain circumstances, especially when the attack is successful, most companies prefer to try and sort out the breach themselves.

There are only two types of companies I was told. Those who are aware they have been subjected to a cyber attack and those who have been subjected to a cyber attack. It is constant and ongoing.

The rewards are massive. On a risk/benefits basis, it is by far the best crime to indulge in, beating drugs by some distance. You might not rule a country, but you know what the rulers are doing.



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