As reported in ValueWalk earlier today, a Russian cyber crime gang has stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords, sending reverberations around the world.

Cyber Security

“This is the same movie with the same outcome,” said cyber security analyst Morgan Wright in a Fox News interview.

Growing concerns for cyber security

The Internet has created a lot of wealth and opportunity, Wright notes, “but what it has done it allows the rise of crime, especially organized crime, because it transcends borders, it transcends states.  I don’t have to rob the bank by being there any more. I can rob the bank by sitting in Romania or Russia and take money.”

The problem with cyber crime, Wright noted, was that it is difficult for an individual to discover until it is too late. Victims of the crime often discover it by people learning their data has been compromised from news media reports or phone calls from organizations involved.

“We haven’t taken the security of our networks as importantly as we have taken the security of other things,” Wright said. “We’ve got to put more emphasis around securing these networks and security around our identities on these networks.”

Law enforcement shutting down the operation best hope for Cyber security

If you are a victim of cyber crime, law enforcement shutting down the operation is among your best hope for protection, he said. “Once they take your user names, your passwords, your information, there is no getting it back, you do not ‘un-ring’ this bell.”

As a user, make sure you are dealing with corporations that are taking your privacy and security seriously. Refuse to do business with organizations that will not take at least the basic precautions” at cyber security.

Some of the vulnerabilities Write finds in cyber security happen time and time again. “These are known vulnerabilities and they are happening time and time again.”

Then Wright asks the big question. “They know it’s out there, why haven’t they fixed it?”

What’s the policy prescription to this disease? Wright says the US needs the equal of a cyber security Sarbane Oxley that mandated accounting processes. He says corporations need to ensure their shareholders, customers and business partners they are taking best of practice steps to ensure cyber security is being maintained. “Unless there is a financial consequence (for improper compliance) we won’t see the traction needed to fix these problems.”