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NATO's Jamie Shea: Cybercrime drains one trillion dollars from global economy every year

Cybercrime drains one trillion US dollars from global economy annually, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Jamie Shea declared on Tuesday.

We have almost every week an incident that reminds us that cyber security is related to almost every aspect of our life, Shea said in a joint press statement delivered together with head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) George Maior. One trillion dollars disappear annually from the global economy because of cybercrime. Industrial secrets, copyright, intellectual property, state secrets become increasingly difficult to protect. Economies are running on these complex systems, which can be easily destroyed, Shea continued.

He added that although cyber-security issues pose a new challenge to humanity, it is important that we take action and do not give in to such threats. We can make the hackers' life harder, we can better defend our systems, we can better defend our critical infrastructure, and learn how to recover faster quickly from a cyber attack, added Shea.

The NATO representative commended Romania for its capability to manage at government level the challenges posed by this new type of crime that can threaten security.

I am very impressed with the things you mentioned today, the way your government departments cooperate - at both formal and informal level - on these subjects, Shea said. Your national telecommunications system secures the safety of intergovernmental communication. You have an excellent system in place that is capable of monitoring the Internet and detect threats in before. (...) I really believe that you are a model in this regard, Shea added.

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges thanked Romania for its cooperation and said that it is an important NATO ally. He also underscored that a key moment in cyber security developments was the entry of this subject on the agenda of the North-Atlantic Alliance. Jamie Shea said that the 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia have proven how dangerous such incidents can be for the security and operation of a state.

Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) George Maior said on Tuesday that they perceived a higher number of information warfare episodes, ranging from cyber attacks to attempts to collect information from the electronic space, and that these were countered.

'We are aware that complex challenges await us originating in the cyber space and the talks today confirmed once again the need to cooperate and coordinate the efforts within the NATO and in Romania, implicitly. Even if the cyber threat is not so conspicuous in Romania for you, at the level of the intelligence service we have perceived a higher rate of these episodes over the past few months, starting from cyber attack on some databases to attempts to collect data in the electronic space, which we evaluated and countered and which are proof of a higher rate of occurrence in the near future,' Maior told a press conference held jointly with NATO representative for emerging security challenges Jamie Shea.

The SRI director said that Romania must be ready for this new type of threat, pointing out that the cyber threats are only one of the things of common interest for SRI and the NATO.

'Therefore we must be ready for this new threat and we are talking here about a more specific training since it means to recruit special experts within the intelligence service and the other institutions, it means an institutional cooperation and, of course, resources allocated to this new field that must be properly managed,' Maior added.

Jamie Shea visited the Cyberint national centre of SRI where he talked to the Romanian experts also about how the memo between SRI and the NATO on the topic of cyber defence will be put into practice, Agerpres informs.