(InvestigateTV) — A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found the U.S. lacks comprehensive cybercrime data and monitoring, “leaving the country less prepared to combat cybercrime.”
GAO Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity Marisol Cruz Cain said a dozen federal agencies work to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, such as credit card fraud or identity theft.
But Cain said because there is not an official definition of cybercrime, data collection is likely inconsistent and incomplete.
“So, each of the 12 entities that are involved in looking at cybercrime in some different way have a different definition of how they’re interpreting what a cybercrime is,” Cain explained. “We definitely need one definition for cybercrime! And that’ll allow you to measure them against each other and really find out what the impact is.”
The Better Cybercrime Metrics Act enacted by Congress last year required the Department of Justice to develop definitions and categories for cybercrimes in its national reporting system, which should help law enforcement agencies comprehensively track and monitor these crimes.
Cain said the damage caused by cybercrime impacts the public in many ways, with children and the elderly being especially vulnerable.
Cain suggested several ways consumers can protect themselves:
- Use all available phone and security protection
- Create complex passwords and use two-factor authentication whenever possible
- Do not click on unknown links
- Listen to your gut – if something feels off, it probably is
The FBI has more information and cyber safety tips
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