Blog , 13 Feb 2020

How ISPs Can Do More to Combat Cybercrime

Tobias Knecht,

Founder and CEO, Abusix

The financial impact of cybercrime continues to grow year after year. According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the global economic impact of cybercrime is approximately $600 billion annually. ISPs are in a unique position in the battle against cybercrime, and they frequently have the ability to stop criminals in their tracks. However, there is no doubt that ISPs could do more to combat cybercrime.

Raise Awareness of Cybersecurity Issues

The end users have always been the weakest link in the security chain, and there is no reason to suspect that this will change anytime soon. ISPs need to do more to make sure that their customers understand the ways that they could be putting themselves at risk, but ISPs should also develop and offer additional security tools that users can choose to enhance online safety. From tools that boost email security to live monitoring centers, ISPs can best protect their clients by preventing cybercriminals from reaching a point where customers will be able to interact with the bad guys. Furthermore, ISPs should educate users on how to respond to a suspicious or malicious attack.

Treat Cybercrime as a Corporate Issue

Cybersecurity should not be considered the responsibility of a single department. Every department, every employee, and every executive should be knowledgeable about the problem, aware of the potential consequences to the company’s success, and vigilant about practicing good cyber hygiene. If ISPs are to be successful in their attempts to encourage their clients to practice defensive strategies, they must be willing to adopt similar strategies for their own operations.

Demand More From Vendors

Any vendor supplying hardware or software for an ISP or its customers must be as conscious of cybersecurity issues as the ISP. Many attacks have exploited vulnerabilities in various devices purchased by ISPs and leased or resold to their customers. ISPs should insist that all third-party vendors comply with the ISP’s cybersecurity requirements and undergo regular cybersecurity audits. At the same time, ISPs should emphasize that suppliers must not attempt to conceal vulnerabilities that are discovered after a piece of hardware or software has been distributed to the end-users. Vendors should understand that they have far more to lose by leaving an ISP’s customers open to attack than by notifying the ISP promptly so that security issues can be addressed.

Unite, Collaborate, and Share

An ISP cannot afford to act in insolation. Sharing threat intelligence and collaborating with other ISPs can help make the internet a safer place for everyone. By presenting a united front, ISPs can send a message to cybercriminals that lets them know that they can no longer single out a vulnerable ISP to attack without detailed information about the attackers and their methods being disseminated to all other ISPs.

Embrace Appropriate Technology

It seems as if a new technology appears almost annually, receives a great deal of attention for a while, and then fades into obscurity. Sometimes, the vaunted technology proves to be of limited use, or the supplier releases it before addressing all of its shortcomings. An ISP cannot afford to try every possible method, product, or service available. However, ISPs cannot afford to ignore them all. The key is to make wise decisions on which technologies can help them shore up their cybersecurity. For example, machine learning can be a valuable tool for identifying and blocking threats in real or near-real-time.

Things are not going to get much easier for ISPs in the immediate future. They and their customers will still be targeted for attacks, and the attacks will likely become more numerous and more sophisticated. ISPs will need to do more to counter these attacks.

At Abusix, we offer an extensive selection of services and products that can help ISPs stay a step ahead of malicious activities. To learn more, email us at info@abusix.com, use our online chat or contact form to request a free consultation.

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