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- Despite the data available, efforts to fight cybercriminal activities worldwide are often uncoordinated and fragmented.
- In January 2023, the World Economic Forum's Partnership Against Cybercrime members launched the Cybercrime Atlas initiative to map and better understand the cybercriminal ecosystem.
- The Cybercrime Atlas initiative will provide a platform for cybercrime investigators, national and international law enforcement agencies, and global businesses to share knowledge and generate policy recommendations to fight cyber threats.
The impact of unchecked cybercrime.
Cybercrime impacts everyone, from individuals to global corporations, and affects critical infrastructures and governments. It causes immense, though not always visible, damage to economies and societies. It drastically undermines the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, increases inequality and hinders international cyber stability efforts.
What is the World Economic Forum doing to combat cybercrime?
In 2020, the World Economic Forum published the recommendations of the Partnership Against Cybercrime, a community within the Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity. These recommendations included principles for public-private collaboration to counter cybercrime and proposals for taking collaborative action to disrupt cybercrime ecosystems.
At the Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2023, the Centre for Cybersecurity announced that it would host an operational collaboration to test and scale the Partnership’s proposals to map out the cybercrime ecosystem.
The Cybercrime Atlas.
To narrow the space in which cybercriminals operate, global actors need to understand the criminal habitat and how the criminal ecosystem creates dependencies across different types of activity. We literally need to map things out.
Since July 2023, the Forum has been hosting the secretariat for the Cybercrime Atlas, an initiative improving the understanding and ability to analyze the cybercrime landscape. The Atlas is supported by Banco Santander, Fortinet, Microsoft and Paypal. Key Atlas partners such as Forum Global Innovators ShadowDragon and SpyCloud also provide tools and systems. Other organizations have also supported the initiative through in-kind donations of time, expertise and capabilities.
This collaboration has led to the sharing of unique and actionable information with the World Economic Forum’s partners in international law enforcement. In 2024 the Forum and its partners will accelerate the work of the Atlas and scale up its impact.
"The Cybercrime Atlas is a collaborative research initiative that gathers and collates information about the cybercriminal ecosystem and major threat actors operating today. The insights generated will help promote opportunities for greater cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement to address cybercrime."”
Mapping the cybercrime ecosystem.
The Cybercrime Atlas acts as a database about cybercrime that partners can draw from. Correlations and analysis of multiple sources can provide vital insights to support the steady erosion of cybercriminal capabilities with the resulting collaboration providing the groundwork for more impactful actions.
To support collaboration between members, the atlas focuses on building a shared knowledge base, beginning with open-source research and publicly available materials that are a launch pad for understanding the entirety of the criminal ecosystem.
Operating collaboratively, the Cybercrime Atlas community can use these insights to understand and disrupt the cybercriminal ecosystem and mitigate the negative impact of attacks. The Cybercrime Atlas will become a source of pooled knowledge for understanding cybercriminal group operations over time. This will facilitate operational collaboration between private sector and public sector stakeholders.
"To mitigate and disrupt global cybercrime in today’s interconnected world, we need robust platforms to share intelligence and facilitate more meaningful institutional collaboration. The Cybercrime Atlas represents a key next step in this work and an opportunity to unite global businesses, law enforcement and experts around concrete opportunities to protect the world’s citizens and their safety."”
The Cybercrime Atlas exemplifies how joint action can yield great results and it highlights the important role the private sector has in countering cybercrime. Providing visibility is a critical first step in efforts to help disrupt cybercriminal ecosystems and infrastructure. Enhanced visibility will assist in more successful cybercrime investigations, takedowns, prosecutions and convictions. It will also provide an opportunity to strategically identify and target vulnerabilities in the criminal ecosystem.
How to engage?
The Cybercrime Atlas is an operational collaboration and welcomes organizations who can share expertise, tools or time.
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