While most of us will never hear about it, security experts have been telling us for years that some banks and other large companies have been quietly paying protection money to criminal syndicates who would otherwise bring down or seriously compromise their computer systems. The victimized institutions have apparently accepted such extortion as a given, and are looking at it as just another cost of doing business.
But can any insurer, broker or other company really afford to be so cavalier about what is happening, even if we’re not talking about extortion? According to former prosecutor and FBI agent Chris Swecker, the answer is clearly no. Swecker, who is the founder of Chris Swecker Enterprises, pointed out in a recent interview with me that, “The potential to commit fraud is magnified on the Internet,” adding that cyber crime is a low-risk and profitable undertaking. “Law enforcement authorities aren’t likely to arrest some guy in Romania who is part of a hacking syndicate,” he said.
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