The role of the Internet in lives of people continues to grow every day. Many people store their information online and use services that require some personal information to be shared. Moreover, Internet-based programs and services are used by companies, communities, governments, and international organizations, which increases the amount and the significance of information present online. Such a way of storing and transferring information opens new opportunities for illegal activity.
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Thus, cybercrime – the use of computers and the Internet for unlawful acts – is a growing phenomenon that becomes more elaborate and more dangerous every minute (Aggarwal et al. 48). Cybercrime has many types because the Internet offers a variety of services to its users. Hackers can steal personal information of other users, use malicious software to corrupt data and stop services from functioning properly, illegally download information and share it with others breaching copyright laws, and distort the overall safety of users and their lives
One of the branches of cybercrime is personal data theft that can include financial information, legal documents, medical records, and other data (Hutchings and Holt 11). While this type of crime may seem to be less damaging in a global sense, it is widespread, making personal data theft one of the most popular forms of cybercrime (Wheatley et al. 8). Currently, there are no clear solutions to protect personal information and maintain a safe space for people’s private data.
A significant issue that slows the development of better protective systems down is the lack of cybercrime assessment frameworks. This literature review examines the recent scholarship investigating cybercrimes and the erosion of privacy with the focus on finding new solutions to protect information and evaluate the damages that hackers bring to the world every day.
The analyzed literature reveals a problem in the sphere of cybercrime research – the lack of statistical information and analysis of interventions in the field of personal data theft.
Literature Review and Analysis
To understand the severity of the problem, one should investigate the main aspects of cybercrime, its history, and legal considerations. For this purpose, a review by Aggarwal et al. should be considered as it contains all necessary information on the topics of cybercrime and cybersecurity. According to the authors, there is a wide variety of cybercrime types, briefly mentioned above. The review also considers some effects that cybercrimes can have on people.
For example, while some illegal practices may be directed at individual people, others may target entire businesses or government agencies, increasing the severity of the crime and the damages brought as a result.
The authors also present some information about cyber security and laws that can help victims to defend their rights. However, the review notes that current legal practices are insufficient to protect people’s data and persecute criminals for their crimes (Aggarwal et al. 50). Thus, such needs as better coordination of law enforcement agencies and increased attention to cybersecurity research are outlined in the study. Furthermore, it is highlighted that users should also rely on themselves and exercise caution when using computers and the Internet. This study offers a solid foundation for further research and presents some basic information that is required to find issues in current research on cybercrime.
A conceptual study by Wall has a similar purpose as it helps define cybercrimes in the cloud – a more nuanced sphere of Internet safety. Wall offers an understanding of crimes in cloud services and their effect on victims, also paying attention to possible law enforcement strategies (Wall 529). Similarly to the previous work, Wall finds that cybercrimes are difficult to persecute due to the lack of research in the sphere and the small impact of each crime (Wall 536). The insufficient amount of available information is also noted by Armin et al., who investigate cybercrime reports and find that there are many gaps in existing research (150).
This problem is also outlined by Wheatley et al. who state that while the amounts of personal data being stolen grow continuously, the individualistic approach of defense mechanisms remains ineffective (8). This study uses a quantitative approach to show the statistics of personal information breaches, highlighting its growing impact on the finances of companies and government agencies. Wheatley et al. find that massive breaches of personal information occur frequently (more than 70 attacks per year since 2007) and deteriorate the state of privacy with each successful attack (8).
The authors also point out the need to research cybercrimes focused on government agencies and businesses and the shift from total risk evaluation to a more personalized approach. This study shows that the process of stealing private information is becoming more dangerous as hackers get access to large amounts of data simultaneously instead of targeting individuals.
In fact, cybercrimes in businesses often result in data of many people being stolen, which leads to massive financial damages for the company and its stakeholders (Balan et al. 64). The study by Balan et al. utilizes R programming to analyze cybersecurity problems and statistics of different businesses to find the main weaknesses in companies’ strategies and suggest new practices (65). The authors find that personal data theft is a significant problem in all industries, causing more than 90% of all businesses to lose money as a result (Balan et al. 66). Again, the need for further research is stressed as evidence against criminals in the cybersphere is hard to gather making cybercrime difficult to control.
Hutchings and Holt examine the market for stolen information and find that there is no research of practical implementations of interventions available, which makes the problem even more challenging (27). The authors also note the financial losses of people and companies and point out that possible interventions may include the collaboration of different services and government bodies and use such practices as censorship and law enforcement control (Hutchings and Holt 23). This study offers some strategies to control personal data theft and ways to protect information from being acquired illegally. Nevertheless, the authors highlight the need to apply these practices and analyze results to present substantial evidence.
Aggarwal, Pooja, et al. “Review on Cyber Crime and Security.” International Journal of Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, pp. 48-51.
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Armin, Jart, et al. “2020 Cybercrime Economic Costs: No Measure No Solution.” Combatting Cybercrime and Cyberterrorism: Challenges, Trends and Priorities, edited by Babak Akhgar and Ben Brewster, Springer, 2016, pp. 135-155.
Balan, Shilpa, et al. “Data Analysis of Cybercrimes in Businesses.” Information Technology and Management Science, vol. 20, no. 1, 2017, pp. 64-68.
Hutchings, Alice, and Thomas J. Holt. “The Online Stolen Data Market: Disruption and Intervention Approaches.” Global Crime, vol. 18, no. 1, 2017, pp. 11-30.
Wall, David S. “Towards a Conceptualisation of Cloud (Cyber) Crime.” International Conference on Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy, and Trust, edited by Theo Tryfonas, Springer International, 2017, pp. 529-538.
Wheatley, Spencer, et al. “The Extreme Risk of Personal Data Breaches and the Erosion of Privacy.” The European Physical Journal B, vol. 89, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-17. Web.