Signs of an arms race with digital weapons: Panel discussion on the “security leaks in cross-border data flows” at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.
The signs of an arms race with digital weapons are intensifying. “Computers are the newest weapons of terrorism,” said Kamlesh Bajaj, Head of NASSCOM Security Initiatives, Data Security Council of India on June 3 at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn. During a panel discussion about “security leaks in cross-border data flows” leading experts called for strengthening international cooperation to battle cybercrime.
According to Bajaj, the attacks to tourist centers in Bombay in November 2008 were only possible with the help of mobile and information technology. The attacks showed “how terrorism has developed and just how difficult it is to develop and coordinate the security measures needed to fend off such threats.” He went on to say that small, “digital militias” and cyber pirates need just a few resources to inflict heavy damage – and the attackers remain anonymous.
Bajaj said that sensitive and confidential data is flowing day and night to and from banks and companies, hospitals and insurance providers, from industrialized countries to computer centers in developing countries. He pointed out that, just in India, this form of outsourcing has turned into a $50 billion industry – with several serious security breeches. Bajaj said that as long as the dependence on transnational data exchange increases, the necessity to protect against data access and abuse – like phishing, viruses, Trojan horses or hacker attacks – increase as well. Plugging the existing security leaks, he said, is a critical international task.
More than 1,000 participants from 100 countries are discussing conflict prevention in the multimedia age at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.