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ACCA USA and Pace University Convene Symposium to Address Global Cybercrime Epidemic in Wake of Massive Data Breaches
[April 07, 2014]

ACCA USA and Pace University Convene Symposium to Address Global Cybercrime Epidemic in Wake of Massive Data Breaches

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

Amid increasing cybercrime threats across the globe, ACCA USA, the US arm of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and Pace University convened the second annual cybercrime symposium and panel discussion on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Hundreds of business and law enforcement professionals, academics, students, media and members of the public attended the event at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts for "Cybercrime in the World Today 2014: Emerging Threats (News - Alert)".

"As our world becomes more connected than ever before, the threat of cybercrime has become a reality for far too many businesses, governments and individuals," said Warner Johnston, Head of ACCA USA. "Stronger connectivity yields greater risks of fraud, theft and abuse, and ACCA is taking a leading role in promoting cybersecurity awareness among its members and the general public."

"No question that cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to our nation's security," said Judge Robert G. M. Keating, Pace's Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. "As opportunity grows, it will only get worse."

Jonathan Hill, Associate Dean at Pace's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, said while moderating an event panel, "Accounting staff is the first line of defense in identifying cybertheft. That may put additional pressure on accountants to shoulder that responsibility."

Added David Szuchman, Executive Assistant District Attorney an Chief of the Investigation Division at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, "As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, so do the criminals who use it to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office continues to expand our forensic capabilities in cybercrime prevention, detection and prosecution, and will continue to build upon our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and private sector stakeholders, including financial and accounting professionals. This is a threat that we are all facing together and our success will be measured, not by how many cases we prosecute, but by how many we prevent."

Panelists discussed data breaches, emerging cyber-terror threats, advice to protect businesses of all sizes, digital currencies and fraud, risk management measures and the devolving criminal landscape. You can watch the video here:

"This is definitely a partnership. The FBI needs to work very closely with corporate America to develop a program where you feel comfortable with your own employees," said Charles F. Gilgen, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The folks in your companies who are going to be traveling overseas to other companies are vulnerable to people trying to steal trade secrets from you."

"Everyday people have to understand what the security risks are," said Bernadette Gleason, North America eCrime Laboratory Manager at Citi. "We have a responsibility to ensure that they know."

"The weakest part of any security program is people," stated Robert A. Zandoli, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Information Security Office, AIG. He predicted steeper corporate investments to combat cybercrime "because the bad guys continue to invest more. What everyone has to do is make their enterprise the least likely target."

Panelists additionally predicted the cybercrime portrait will worsen before it improves. "I think we can also expect an attack on our utilities," said Vincent Tophoff, Senior Technical Manager, International Federation of Accountants. "What makes those (attacks) different is that ordinary people immediately see the results if they are in the dark for one or two days."

ACCA USA distributed its new report detailing how skimmer fraud has globally proliferated, as criminal enterprises employ smaller and more sophisticated skimming with improved power, memory, communication and encryption.

"Skimmer fraud is a huge problem in the United States and worldwide. While skimmers have existed for many years and they have advanced quite considerably over time," said the report's author, Pace University Professor Darren Hayes, DPS. "Without significant steps being taken to combat this activity, it's clear that this type of fraud will continue to escalate."

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