JOINING HANDS ACROSS BORDERS
Do you feel the critical infrastructure in this region is more under threat than the rest of the world?
When it comes to critical infrastructure, different regions across the world are targets of different types of attack. In recent years the rate of targeted attacks has increased and criminals are strategically choosing their targets based on different key interests. Quantifying the effect of targeted attacks is still very challenging, so it is difficult to make comparisons or judge whether one region's experience is worse than another's.
Is there a consolidated effort by the international community to come forward to protect assets in the Middle East, which if compromised can have global consequences?
The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) is looking to build a network of multi-stakeholder partnerships to the benefit of all regions, including the Middle East. The IGCI strives to empower all countries, whether developing or developed, to expand and reinforce their capacity in dealing with cyber-attacks. We, at Interpol, have long understood the value of engaging in a permanent dialogue with our member countries through a vast range of initiatives, such as working groups and capacity building programmes.
The IGCI's objective is to continue along the same lines and to equip all regions of the world, including the Middle East, with the skills and knowledge to conduct digital crime investigations and digital forensic examinations. In May 2013, we organised the 1st Interpol Digital Crime Training Workshop for Middle East and North Africa in Dubai, UAE, which brought together representatives from seven countries to improve their skills in cybercrime investigation.
What kinds of cybercrimes will the Global Innovation Complex be especially focusing on?
Cyber issues are very complex, covering a broad range of topics and challenges. When discussing cyber issues, one can be talking about issues of national security; espionage; of cybercrime, the list goes on. Interpol's main efforts in this area will focus on criminal justice rather than national security. The IGCI will implement a threepronged strategy to actively assist national law enforcement in deterring cyber criminals, by harmonising cooperation efforts, developing regional and international capacity, and providing operational support on cybercrime.
With prosecutions and arrests so low in cybercrime, what can act as a deterrent?
When trying to combat cybercrime, there are three key challenges for law enforcement when trying to arrest and prosecute a suspect: whether countries have sufficient technical capacity to investigate a cybercrime; whether they can access or compile sufficient actionable intelligence to initiate an investigation, information that is often in the hands of the private sector; and whether national legislative frameworks will allow them to share or receive information from other jurisdictions to ultimately bring a case against the identified suspect.
While it is therefore not a surprise that prosecutions and arrests may be low in cybercrime, it does not mean that rule of law cannot act as a deterrent. Rather it means that these challenges must be addressed to provide a harmonised response to this threat. From our perspective, the solution to this is clear: we need a global alliance, bringing together all concerned stakeholders from the private and public sectors, to tackle this new paradigm shift and place the necessary information and technology into the hands of police.
Interpol seeks to implement a Global Alliance against Cybercrime that will focus on three key spheres of action – legislative harmonisation, capacity building, and operational support. We will encourage member countries to develop legislative frameworks that empower police to investigate cybercrime with a view to prosecution. We will work with member countries to ensure that they have the required dedicated resources and expertise to investigate cybercrime. And finally, we will support our member countries during their investigations, sourcing and consolidating intelligence so that they can take action.
NOBORU NAKATANI, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERPOL GLOBAL COMPLEX FOR INNOVATION, WAS IN DOHA RECENTLY AND WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM FOR A QUICK CHAT.