Cybercrime is a constantly growing challenge. The rapid development of technology and internet provide repeatedly opportunities to tackle cybercrime enabling criminal activities to take place anonymously, remotely and swiftly.
Crimes against property, such as money transfers from bank accounts, fraud, phishing, cyberattacks, child sexual abuse are included among the offences that the authorities are called upon to investigate while facing several issues such as encryption, jurisdiction and the difficulty in analyzing a great volume of data.
The National Cyber Security Strategy has taken into account the key parameters of the EU Strategy and focuses on the intergovernmental and private sector cooperation. As part of the National Strategy, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order and Cyprus Police have identified areas of action for the prevention and combat of cybercrime, such as the enhancement of crime reporting and information gathering through the development of an online complaints platform, the improvement of technical means and equipment for the effective investigation of such cases, the legislation review, the strengthening of cooperation with the internet service providers as well as the training of both law enforcement authorities and judges who are called upon handling these cases.
A significant part of the Ministry’s efforts to tackle cybercrime, focuses on prevention and public awareness. More specifically, students are informed on the dangers of the internet as well as business executives in order to protect important information and data related to the operation of their business. The importance of the cooperation and exchange of information with the law enforcement of other member states and specialized EU organizations is highly emphasized due to the nature of crimes that are committed online and have a transnational dimension.
The implementation of the above actions has been highly evaluated by the Council of European Union, which has recorded in its report good practices applied in Cyprus, especially in the fields of prevention, students and young persons awareness, the use of European resources and the level of training acquired by the personnel of Cybercrime Combat Office and the Digital Forensic Evidence laboratory.
Furthermore, the use of the Safe Internet Centre and Digital Technologies, promoted by the Ministry of Education and Culture, has been suggested within the framework of the National Strategy for research and training purposes in the field of criminal justice. The Ministry of Justice and Public Order participates in the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the promotion and monitoring of the National Strategy ‘’for a better internet for children in Cyprus’’ as well as in the work carried out for the establishment of a centre utilizing digital technologies and safer internet use.
Finally, the Ministry has contributed to the review of Cybersecurity Strategy of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulations with the aim to include a new thematic section entitled ‘’Tackling cybercrime offences’’.