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 Monday, 16th July 2012, 09:45:05

Cybercrime makes online world 'like living in the Wild West'

Cybercrime makes online world 'like living in the Wild West'

The lack of sufficient security measures to protect internet users from cyber attacks has caused one IT expert to liken the web to a lawless town.

Kevin Wharram, an independent IT security consultant, compared the state of the online world to "living in the Wild West".

"In a lot of organisations, a lot of senior management just don't take security seriously. And then you have got a shortage of security professionals worldwide," he added.

One of the areas of concern is the world of e-commerce, as shoppers are becoming increasingly worried over the extent to which their online transactions are protected.

Mr Wharram even predicted that e-commerce-related shopping crime would worsen in the future, and a "major technology change" would be needed to combat it within the next five years.

A recent study from the European Commission revealed that internet users are very concerned about cyber security: 72 per cent believe that the risk of becoming a victim of online crime has increased in the last year, and 12 per cent of EU internet users have already experienced online fraud.

This can be partly attributed to the fact that security operating systems, which Mr Wharram described as "just prehistoric", need to evolve to combat  ever-changing online threats.

This is partly due to the increasing popularity of mobile devices. More and more consumers are shunning traditional desktop technology in favour of smartphones and tablets when it comes to surfing online and this extends to the world of e-commerce. As such, cybercriminals are finding ways to target mobile items and users are not necessarily equipped to deal with the threat.

There are ways that consumers and businesses can increase their defences against online attacks. One of the most important factors is improving security education.

According to Graeme Batsman, director of, said that many consumers and business leaders mistakenly assume that they have more protection than they do, but this is simply not the case.

"General education of everyone is needed - from company owners to police and home users. Terms such as military grade encryption on websites do not mean they are secure," he warned.

Posted by Kevin Jenson

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Categories:  |  Security  |  Ecommerce  |  

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