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As part of their strategy to combat cybercrime in Europe, Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with Jean-Luc Moliner, Orange Head of Group Security. The agreement is meant to ensure a smooth running of cyber security and to enhance a safe cyber environment through information sharing. According to Europol, there will be collaboration and information sharing between the two agencies on cyber threat and major attacks. Europol has engaged in similar collaborations in the past with other agencies including chainalysis in crime fighting. There have been a number of private and public agencies that have cooperated with them to fight cybercrime.

The information sharing and the cyber threat were in relation to the Orange’s area of expertise – “spam, DDoS attacks, fraud, and cyber-attacks on mobiles or banking services.” Orange is a provider of global IT and Telecommunication service mainly for multinational companies with about 202 million mobile customers worldwide. Being much aware of the need for the international cooperation on cyber threat and other crime issues, Jean-Luc Moliner expressed his satisfaction with the deal. He believes that Orange is a top player in Europe considering the availability of around 1,000 cyber security experts at their disposal.

Europol has been able to use its techniques to combat terrorism, cybercrime and other organized crimes in Europe. They have also been able to provide support to about 40,000 investigations in Europe. According to a recent report, Europol conducted a meeting to establish a darknet investigation team. Their role was to help in information sharing, operational support and to find ways of approaching the online marketplace. The persistent effort to ensure the fighting of cybercriminals forced this agreement.

Steven Wilson of Europol stressed the need for a collaboration in cyber-crime fighting as businesses and Individuals are constantly under cyber threat: “As criminals increasingly threaten citizens’ and businesses’ digital lives, it is vital for the law enforcement community to work closely with the global industry players to create a safe environment on the internet.”

He added that the technical expertise of Orange will be a great benefit to them: “I am confident that the high-level of technical expertise that Orange will bring will result in a significant benefit to our work.”

Cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years with a huge monetary loss to the world’s economy as reported by researchers. It has been revealed that cybercrime leads to $600 billion annual losses to the global economy. The fast rising cyber-crime cases have been attributed to the fast adoption of new technologies by the cyber criminals and the fast rising of internet users. According to the report entitled “Economic Impact of Cybercrime-No Slowing Down,” the huge monetary losses due to cybercrime is expanding and is easier to demand ransoms without clear traces. This is why Europol is employing all arsenals to create a cybercrime free world. As part of the strategies to fight against this crisis, the report suggested the encouragement of international law enforcement cooperation. This has been a similar tool used by Europol to fight against criminals.

Europol has been able to retrieve thousands of Euros. Not just that, they have disrupted a number of criminal activities, arrested cybercriminals and successfully become a constant threat to drug and human traffickers. They have been successful in the cyber related investigation due to their highly collaborative, intellectually stimulating, multilingual, multidisciplinary and international ways.

Data breaches in Europe have doubled in recent years from 68 per business in 2012 to 130 per business in 2017. BT also announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Europol to open ways for information sharing, essentially creating a cybercrime free environment. BT is a cyber-security business which shares cyber threat information with law enforcement agencies in a safe way to protect internet users. BT has been able to identify about 200,000 malicious domains since it was established. Europol is expected to engage in more cyber security agencies in the future to accelerate the achievement of their goal.

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