Sociological Impacts of Cybercrime

Sociological Impacts of Cybercrime

Sociological Impacts of Cybercrime
The internet has become one of the most revolutionary components of technology. Today, there is a growing trend towards digitalization, which is growing at an alarming rate. The increased demand for the internet and the rising number of connections have exposed computer systems to criminal attacks, which could lead to data breaches. Cybercrime is mainly a profitable business for hackers and continues to be a major threat to many organizations. With the increased connectivity rate, large amounts of information continue to be generated and stored in database systems. As a result, cyber-attacks have become more rampant, especially in businesses. According to Yar and Steinmetz (2019), it is estimated that the average cost for a data breach that could be incurred by a company is approximately $3 million. Hackers are mainly interested in obtaining personal user details such as credit card numbers, social security details, and classified information. Obtaining such information from the individuals helps criminals access the information they use to mastermind fraud, compromise identity, and even sell over the dark web. Businesses and corporations are the primary targets for cybercriminals due to the massive amount of data nabbed by cybercriminals (Yar, and Steinmetz, 2019). This paper discusses the sociological impacts of cyberattacks and measures that can be taken to protect assets.
Cybercrimes and their Impacts
Cybercrimes usually result in data theft, damages of the file, and interrupting the systems. The information collected by the criminals includes security questions answers used by the various institution to protect users when changing their passwords (Levi, 2017). While most companies are doing their best to encrypt data to prevent it from theft, creating a flawless system has proved quite difficult. This is because cybercriminals have developed more sophisticated methods of launching the attacks. Furthermore, attackers can interrupt the systems, thus preventing consumers from using the same system. An example of such an attack is the Distributed Denial of a Service (DDoS) attack. DDoS attacks are launched by sending the data from various locations to a specific server used by a company. This results in unreasonable requests that the server cannot handle, thus overwhelming the server and slowing down or even failing. The attackers seize control of the servers, thus denying users access to utilize the services offered (Levi, 2017). With the Internet of Things (IoT) now becoming a reality, utility systems such as electrical systems are now control via computer systems. Cyber attacks can cause electrical blackouts, thus compromising national security. This could put classified information at risk. Hackers could likewise disrupt PC networks, thus making information inaccessible to the clients.
When cyber-attacks occur, they affect both the concerned organizations and society in general. The impacts are felt both online and offline. According to Aiken et al. (2016), when an individual becomes a victim of identity theft, he/she could be adversely affected. Criminals can use their identity to conduct various crimes, thus destroying the character of the victim. In businesses, cybercrime could expose businesses to loss of money. For instance, a major technique employed by hackers on large companies is phishing. In this method, they send fraudulent emails faking to originate from a trusted source. Once the user opens the email, they are redirected to a hacker website that copies various personal data from their computers (Aiken et al., 2016). Giving over this data could permit the hackers to get to a person’s bank and credit accounts and hence demolish their credit score.
Some hackers may also try to take over some company’s server to steal information and the machine. More so, companies that have previously had their systems hacked have lost a lot of trust from their customers. If an organization is found to have been negligent in protecting their systems from attacks, they could be heavily fined by the regulator (Aiken et al., 2016).
Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations
Cybercrime laws are designed to identify the limits of acceptable attitudes for information and communication technology. They help to protect user data from abuse. According to Kosseff (2017), cybercrime laws provide rules on how users and service providers should conduct themselves when using computers and digital technologies. Substantive cybercrime laws forbid cybercrime and punish the people who do not comply with the law. For example, countries like Germany, China, and Japan have developed criminal code provisions to prevent crimes. In the U.S, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017 was developed to protect personal information from theft and misuse. These regulations spell out the consequences for institutions that fail to protect user data (Kosseff, 2017). However, these laws vary from one country to another, depending on the purported criminal’s internet.
Procedural laws provide detailed guidelines and rules to be followed when dealing with cybercriminals. They dictate the procedure through suspects should be handled, how data should be seized and dealt with, and the procedure of expediting cybercriminals. Just like any other evidence, cybercrime data must be collected in a manner that respects the rights of the individuals to make it admissible in a court of law (Kosseff, 2017). Currently, discussions are ongoing at the international level to develop collaborative procedures to deal with cyber espionages.
Legal and Technical Controls
Organizations do not have control over cyber attacks. However, they can make it hard for attackers to access their information. A vital tool for mitigating cyber-attack is by ensuring the infrastructure is secured. Therefore, it is crucial to regulate the minimum commitment to secure all their networks, thus protecting themselves. According to Kosseff (2017), the law provides a robust opportunity to set standards and reduce the attacks’ scope. With technology now becoming more sophisticated, standards should be developed and closely adhered to.
Government regulations help to put individuals in control of their data. Laws should be developed to enhance reporting to facilitate a gradual move towards companies complying with regularly reviewing their data. The review process involves identifying both the weaknesses and opportunities for the companies. Regulatory practices put in place requires institutions to include eCommerce, search engines, and cloud computing services to increase their services’ security (Kosseff, 2017). Companies should also ensure that the employees are aware of the implication of the cyber-attacks on the systems.
To further enhance their systems, organizations should apply technical controls such as encryption. Encryption techniques help to protect data in storage and transit. Technical controls such as firewalls, anti-malware programs and VPNs can protect data and maintain its integrity (Maglaras et al., 2019). As a mitigation strategy, organizations should also insure their digital assets from cyber-attacks. This will involve taking up insurance policies to reduce the impact of losses incurred in case of a disaster.
To summarize, it is evident that cyber-attacks are growing as companies become more dependent on technology. Businesses should, therefore invest more in securing their data to avoid data loss in the future. There should be widespread use of encryption and privacy tools to protect data from surveillance. Users also need to understand that security starts at home and is their collective responsibility to protect themselves. For instance, all users should use a modern operating system that receives security updates, encrypts communication, and runs an antivirus.

Aiken, M., Mc Mahon, C., Haughton, C., O’Neill, L., & O’Carroll, E. (2016). A consideration of the social impact of cybercrime: examples from hacking, piracy, and child abuse material online. Contemporary Social Science, 11(4), 373-391.
Kosseff, J. (2017). Defining cybersecurity law. Iowa L. Rev., 103, 985.
Levi, M. (2017). Assessing the trends, scale and nature of economic cybercrimes: Overview and issues. Crime, Law and Social Change, 67(1), 3-20.
Maglaras, L., Ferrag, M. A., Derhab, A., Mukherjee, M., & Janicke, H. (2019). Cyber security: From regulations and policies to practice. In Strategic innovative marketing and tourism (pp. 763-770). Springer, Cham.
Yar, M., & Steinmetz, K. F. (2019). Cybercrime and society. SAGE Publications Limited.

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