Cyber Crime Risk Review Information Technology Essay
The new age of technology and the evolution of computers have led to the growth of a new form of crime. Even though the internet has been revolutionary in advancing how business is transacted, there has also been a hefty price for organizations to pay. This downside to technology is in the form of an increase in the rate of cyber crimes. Every other day, millions of people end up distressed after falling victims to cyber criminals who engage in credit card theft, sales fraud, auction fraud theft, and pornography, cyber bullying and copyright violations among others. Cyber crimes have far reaching implications especially when found rampant in an organization. Such an organization is bound to suffer from financial losses, loss of stocks and shareholders and even loss of consumer bases. According to Yar (2006), cyber crime refers to the use of computers and the internet in order to access information on others without their knowledge and then use that knowledge to defraud or commit other crimes against them.
It is crucial for organizations to adapt measures for dealing with these crimes in order to avoid these negative consequences. As such, this report emanates from an investigation carried out in a banking organization where the presence of cyber crimes was examined. In addition, the report analyzes the detected cyber crimes and their effects on the welfare of the organization. In doing so, the report also paves way for more awareness on cyber crimes and makes suggestions on how best to tackle them
Banking organizations are entrusted by consumers to offer them credible financial services. The said organization uses a network of computers for a majority of business transactions. Banking officials are authorized to utilize information from their database in ensuring that their customers are well services. In modern day banking, using the internet for inter or intra-banking services is commonplace making it easy for officials to access any form of client information. Also, the bank has surveillance cameras situated at strategic points and record day to day transactions. This organization is indeed a potential target for cyber crimes.
Key Cyber Crimes within the Bank Institution
The crimes highlighted in this report emerged from investigating several claims by clients who hold accounts with the bank. Over the past month, a number of clients have reported of excess withdrawals from their accounts and credit cards while they are sure of not having made any transactions. Laura (2005) postulates that credit card fraud is a more rampant form of cyber crime which makes it even more risky especially in a banking organization. Other crimes which clients have complained of are fraudulent emails and address theft. Even more worrying, is the misuse of internet services by employees in order to access child pornography. This could imply the presence of an ethically and morally compromised work force which has adverse implications on the bank's productivity. Schperberg (2005) highlights the use of surveillance cameras by cyber criminals and there are signs of this misuse by bank officials.
Credit Card Theft Risks
In today's world, credit cards are a common means of payment due to their convenience and ease in comparison to other forms of payment. Milhorn (2007, p.72) explains that credit card fraud refers to the illegal use of a credit card to carry out transactions. Also, it can be said to occur if services or goods not received are charged to it. In order to carry out this crime, one has to have access to another's credit card account details which include their access number and other details. Such an individual only requires hacking into one's account and they will have access to their funds and may use them however they choose.
In such a banking organization, bank officials have access to such account details as they have been entrusted by the customer. It is easy for these officials to utilize a client's credit card for their personal use by either charging expenses to them or by even making withdrawals from their accounts. The risk of credit card theft in a banking organization emanates from the lack of air tight security measures which make it possible for officials to behave unethically. Clients rarely realize what is going on until they are served with banking statements dictating high expenses. Furthermore, it is also possible that a client may fail to recognize that they are being defrauded and report their credit card as stolen. Unfortunately, it can be too late by then. Moreover, where bank officials do not have access to account details, they can hack into the system or even use email fraud. All an official needs to do is serve clients with spam emails requesting for credit card numbers and insisting that is part of the banking protocol. Unsuspecting clients give up their account details without hesitating.
Risks of Access to Child Pornography
Banking services are guided by ethical principles which are supportive of both moral and social standards. Child pornography is easily distributed and used by individuals for their gratification. Banking officials can access child pornography with just a click of the button and this could only lead to a downward spiral of the bank's standards. Indeed, hearsay of such misconduct can lead to clients losing their trust with the bank and opting to shift to others. In addition, child pornography is likely to instigate other forms of sexual harassment in the work place leaving the organization vulnerable to sexual harassment cases which can cost the bank hefty fees in victim compensation. In the absence of strict supervision of bank officials or the use of other regulation measures it is difficult to ensure that child pornography is not accessed by officials during working hours and within the bank premises.
Risk of Surveillance Camera Misuse
In normal circumstances, surveillance cameras are put up in banks in order to heighten security. However, entrusting bank employees with access to the cameras' database can prove detrimental to the organization. The database can be used to locate bank vaults, passwords to these vaults and other significant details. Bank robberies have in the past been carried out using such information from surveillance cameras. There are also cameras which are prone to hacking and are a security risk to the bank.
Identity Theft Risks
Identity theft for a bank official is highly feasible. Their easy access to a client's account details such as their addresses, account numbers, social security and personal identification numbers makes this possible. As described by Milhorn (2007, p.162), a criminal may choose to open new accounts with the client's information otherwise referred to as true-name identity theft. On the other hand, they may take over the already existing account and use it as if it was theirs. The theft of one's identity using the internet is known as, vishing, pharming or phishing. Website phishing entails the creation of parallel websites which are meant to scam clients of their personal details. A computer and information technology expert working in a bank can hack into other websites too and utilize it to defraud clients of their money or identities.
Strategies for Overcoming Cyber Crimes in the Organization
Brenner (2010, p.215) asserts that preventive measures are more effective in curbing cyber crimes as they limit the risks for fraud and losses. Even though reaction strategies can be similarly influential in fighting against cyber space crime, they are highly costly. In banking organizations such as this, it is critical that the bank installs software technology to prevent some of the above mentioned cyber crimes. Handling information security should be a priority for the bank and such infrastructure needs to be put in place before any transactions are carried out. Software which prevents access of a client's account details by bank employees should be installed in all computers in the bank. Virtual accounts are also used by banks in order to make online purchases safer for their clients and have proven to work adequately. Spam ware and malware can be used to prevent trackers from hacking into a client's account details. Despite this, authorization codes should be given to trustworthy employees and those found likely to engage in such crimes as credit card theft barred from the organization.
Creating awareness on cyber crimes such as credit card theft can be implemented as a form of preventing clients from falling victims to these crimes. A client is better placed to safeguard their bank accounts and the bank can emphasize this through education. As credit card owners they are advised to always keep their cards safe and be cautious when making online transactions. They must also take precautions and only disclose their account details when they are sure of not being at risk of being defrauded.
In a bid to prevent bank employees' access to child pornography websites, computer systems can be blocked using software applications. However, this can be complemented by setting up rules which prohibit access to these sites. Harsh penalties can be used to make employees of indulging in such unethical practices. Coding surveillance cameras and having a separate control room for them can make managing them easy. Qualified personnel can aid in assessing their misuse and in nabbing the involved culprits.
Cyber crimes are already a menace in today's society and with the already increasing growth of technological advancements; it will only get more difficult to manage. Banks are uniquely vulnerable to these crimes as detailed by the report. Their frequent use of computers and the internet paves way for credit card theft, identity theft, and access to child pornography and misuse of surveillance cameras. Assessing these risks is only the initial step in preventing these crimes. Nevertheless, the above mentioned strategies will work towards reducing the risks or curbing these crimes completely. All it takes is a sound implementation process which is guided by firm principles and regulations.
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