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ICSPA and Europol launch a major study on international cybercrime

Project 2020 was first announced by the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) back in November 2011. “The ICSPA is embarking on a project named 'Project 2020’. In collaboration with its business members, law enforcement partners, Europol, the City of London Police and ENISA, the ICSPA will analyse, study and report upon the evolution of cyber crime over the next eight years,” said ICSPA.

Last week (July 18), it was launched again: “One of the largest international consultations into cybercrime has been launched... Called Project 2020, the study by [ICSPA] and led by its strategic law enforcement partner Europol...” 

At first glance there seems very little difference between the two announcements – save for two things. First, Europol has now become the European Commission’s designated European Cybercrime Centre, “which will be the focal point in the fight against cybercrime in the Union.” And secondly, the project has been joined by (ISC)² and its 86,000 worldwide membership. Project 2020 has simply got bigger, better, and more international in its context. Its purpose is to help enable ICSPA to fulfill its own purpose: to equip law enforcement agencies with what they need in order to fight cybercrime. Since cybercrime has become highly organized and international in nature, Project 2020 must do the same in order to understand it and respond to it".

Infosecurity spoke to John Colley, managing director of (ISC)² EMEA, to get a clearer understanding. “Project 2020 is well-named”, he said. “It’s a visioning project designed to provide a clear sight of the evolution of international cybercrime over the next eight years – until 2020. Since ICSPA was first established in 2010, its chief executive, John Lyons, has been talking to international organizations and heads of state to get them involved in a co-ordinated, international approach to cyber threats. (ISC)² was one of ICSPA’s first supporters. And Project 2020 is the first real project to come out of it.”

It’s looking at two things, he said. “How we think cybercrime will develop over the next eight years, and what sort of capabilities law enforcement will need to put in place to combat that crime. The issue with cybercrime is that its jurisdiction is difficult because it’s so international. What will come out of 2020 is a series of recommendations on policy to be adopted by governments across the globe. It’s to help different governments come to a co-ordinated view rather than leave each to develop separate and disjointed views on what needs to be done.”

In this sense, Project 2020 is designed to develop the future direction and policy of the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance.

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