Europe’s cyber Achilles heel

The Dutch hacker believed to be responsible for the world’s largest DDoS attack a few weeks ago has been arrested. Apparently he was caught 35km north of Barcelona in an orange van that doubled as a mobile computing office, (in my mind it’s like a  malicious Mystery Machine) remotely controlling his ‘cyber bunker’.

Anyone outside of the cyber security industry would be forgiven for thinking that this kind of event was a one-off. In reality, these kinds of events are taking place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Eighteen cybercrimes PER SECOND according to one Symantec report.

Admittedly it is quite unusual to find a Dutchman declaring cyber war from a van in Spain, but cybercrime is a real problem across Europe, and one that is widely under-reported by the media.

Seth Berman, a digital risk management expert based in London, told CNBC in March that this under reporting could actually be damaging Europe’s ability to face the cyber threats posed in 2013. A lack of mandatory reporting regulations and a history of organisations being shamed for breaches have led to companies hiding their problems from customers and even staff.

Until the regulation catches up and forces organisations to be more open about their problems, cyber security will continue to be Europe’s Achilles heel, data breaches will continue to happen and organisations will fail to live up to their responsibilities.

In the meantime there some simple steps you can take to keep your information safe:


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