New Report Offers Cyber Security Tactics to Bolster National Strategy

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High Technology Crime Investigation Association members surveyed on digital evidence, investigation issues.

Our survey reflects issues [which the National Security Strategy raised] within the cyber crime investigation community, and offers critical areas which the federal government may want to focus on as it begins to implement its strategy.

Training and education; dedicated investigative personnel; and better reporting, strategy and policy frameworks are needed to implement the President's National Security Strategy for cyber crimes. So says a new report issued by the International High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA), a consortium of law enforcement, private investigators and corporate security professionals.

A survey of the HTCIA's more than 3100 members showed:

-- Presently, those who investigate cyber crimes do a little of everything: traditional investigation, digital forensics, public education, etc. Instead, investigators would like to see people dedicated to each task, to ensure more effective evidence handling.

-- It's not more new investigators who are needed – it's more existing personnel, properly trained, across an entire organization. Training employees on how to recognize and properly handle digital evidence means that investigators will be able to focus on their specialized tasks.

-- The bulk of cyber crime investigation training comes from organizations' budgets, not from government grants.

-- While some agencies and companies have policies, strategy and reporting in place, many do not; furthermore, those that exist are not uniform.

-- Collaboration happens to a great extent among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, but much less frequently between law enforcement and corporate investigators.

“President Obama's strategy calls for cyber security literacy, better mechanisms for data preservation, protection and privacy; and improved network defense and incident response,” said Todd Shipley, HTCIA International President. “In fact, the White House draws parallels between natural disaster response and cyber security. During a disaster, responders' roles are clearly defined, they have spent many hours in preparatory training, and they know precisely how they fit into a collaborative effort with other responders. Our survey reflects those issues within the cyber crime investigation community, and offers critical areas which the federal government may want to focus on as it begins to implement its strategy.”

Released in conjunction with the Techno Security & Digital Investigations conference, a major event bringing together law enforcement, corporate security, and other private investigators, the report had other major findings. These include marked increases in criminal use of digital technology; the fact that all types of fraud was most likely to be investigated across law enforcement and corporate domains; and that, while a greater quantity of affordable training is needed, the quality of both investigative equipment and training were rated adequate by respondents.

The High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) is designed to encourage, promote, aid and effect the voluntary interchange of data, information, experience, ideas and knowledge about methods, processes, and techniques relating to investigations and security in advanced technologies among its membership. HTCIA is the largest organization worldwide dedicated to the advancement of training, education and information sharing information between law enforcement and corporate cybercrime investigators.


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