Trend Micro, an Internet security solutions provider, announced a partnership today with Interpol, the world’s largest international police body with 190 member countries, to support global law enforcement programs against cybercrime.
Formally known as the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol is taking steps to increase its cybercrime fighting capabilities, including opening the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore in 2014. That center, according to the press release, “will seek to implement an alliance with multi-stakeholders, including Internet security specialists from the private sector, to leverage their respective expertise and resources for the benefit of global law enforcement agencies fighting cybercrime.”
Tom Kellermann, vice president of cybersecurity at Trend Micro, tells Security Management that the partnership with Interpol will open the door for more private sector collaboration with law enforcement at a critical time. “Interpol noted recently that street crime is down ten percent this past year, but...it’s because criminality is evolving through the use of technology,” he says, meaning that the criminals are instead hitting the virtual streets. “Now that Interpol has gotten serious about cybercrime by building this fusion center in Singapore, we’ve decided to assist in the public-private information sharing game, and basically begin to not only train Interpol representatives and law enforcement executives from around the world in how to conduct cyberforensics, but also more importantly how to identify the various ecosystems of criminality in cyberspace.”
This training will be especially helpful to countries that have more limited law enforcement capabilities in cyberspace. Kellermann emphasizes that the increasing complexity of cyberattacks is a global problem, but law enforcement in developing nations lacks the cyber expertise to combat those threats. “Very often you find a country that only has six to eight cybersecurity specialists who understand forensics,” he says. “And with the volume of incidents and the sophistication increasing dramatically, we need to increase that human capacity.”
Trend Micro will provide support for Interpol by making available the company’s extensive resources, including a team of 1,200 threat researchers, as well as its e-crime unit, which has already assisted law enforcement in successfully hunting down cybercriminals such as the Spanish cybergang Reveton earlier this year. The company will also provide training for Interpol which “will encompass e-learning modules, classroom-based training sessions, workshops and/or professional certifications, based on overall goals and learning objectives,” according to the release.
Kellermann adds that the partnership so far has not made plans to leverage specific Trend Micro products, but that it is a future possibility to make use of such tools. "Right now we’re offering up our expertise and our time and anything else we can provide to help build capacity in the international law enforcement community," he says.
Overall, Kellermann says he hopes the partnership is a benchmark for public-private information sharing, something he believes is currently lacking. “The industry as a whole needs to get better at sharing information willingly with law enforcement around the world,” he says. They also need to share more amongst themselves. “The irony is that the industry sometimes sees other industry members as competitors, when in fact the real competitors are the underground economy, the criminals and the hackers who are hunting our clients.”
Flickr photo by g_yulong