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Whether it’s hacking into bank accounts, stealing identities or extorting ransom money from companies and organisations, cybercrime is a global problem. According to a study by cybersecurity firm McAfee, it costs the world economy almost $445 billion a year. As more and more systems are connected to the Internet, criminals are increasingly exploiting these vulnerabilities, leading to cyber attacks that affect everything from critical infrastructure to people’s personal data.

The good news is that there are things we can do to protect ourselves and limit the impact of cyber crime. For example, backing up data regularly can help reduce the effect of a hack or data breach. It’s also a good idea to use strong passwords and change them frequently. Finally, it’s important to invest in a defence-in-depth approach to information security, which involves limiting access to the most sensitive data and systems.

As the world becomes more reliant on technology, criminals have shifted their focus online. Vulnerabilities in computer systems and lack of attention to security by users present low-risk, high-reward opportunities for criminals.

Cybercriminals often work together, collaborating to improve their skills and share the risks of their crimes. In this way, they resemble the traditional business structures found in the real world. To deal with them, it’s crucial to establish multidimensional public-private partnerships between law enforcement agencies, information technology industry players, information security organisations and internet companies. In addition, promoting international cooperation to combat cybercrime is vital.