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  • Writer's pictureCC-DRIVER

Building Synergies with the Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBCS)

CC-DRIVER researches the human and technical drivers of cybercriminality to improve the efficiency of prevention and prosecution of cybercriminal activities. Our research on cybercrime-as-a-service and juvenile cyber delinquency will be translated into innovative investigation, prevention and policy toolkits that law enforcement agencies (LEAs), policymakers and others can use to counter cybercriminality.

To ensure the excellence of our research and the sustainability of the CC-DRIVER tools, we are committed to find synergies in Europe and beyond and interact with researchers who are investigating similar issues. Therefore, we held an online call in May 2021 with the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBCS) at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in the USA to learn more about each other’s activities and explore mutual research interests.

The Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBCS) aims to provide empirical evidence and systematic reviews of existing research on the potential effect of cybersecurity policies and tools that aim to prevent the spread of cyber-dependent crimes. Similarly to CC-DRIVER, the work of the research group focuses on the human factor and the interconnected behaviours of victims, offenders, and guardians in the cybercrime ecosystem.

The research group works on various projects which investigate a wide-range of cybersecurity related topics, for instance evaluating the effectiveness of cybersecurity products and tools or identifying risk-factors for targeted online extremism on the surface web and darknet. Their evidence-based cybersecurity approach highlights that human-based interventions should be assessed by rigorous scientific research which echoes our approach in CC-DRIVER of translating multidisciplinary research into innovative tools and methods to tackle cybercrime.

CC-DRIVER also shares interest with EBCS in supporting LEAs in their fight against cybercrime. The EBCS research group is involved in various LEA training activities, for instance, a new certificate for LEAs on Intelligence and Evidence Gathering in Darknet Environments. Participants of the training workshops can learn about the cybercrime ecosystem and acquire the necessary skills to gather intelligence from darknet and encrypted online communication platforms. In CC-DRIVER, we are co-designing tools and training materials for LEAs which aim to improve their skills and enable more effective investigation and mitigation of cybercriminal activities. Cybercrime awareness tools will provide up-to-date intelligence on trends and attacker tactics while incident investigation tools will empower LEAs with advanced data mining capabilities to help them keep track of the threat landscape.

Our discussion with EBCS researchers reflected on the funding landscape for cybersecurity and cybercrime research and on differences and similarities of current cybercrime trends in the USA and Europe, such as ransomware, insider threats and threat intelligence issues. In the EU, there has been little or no attention given to insider threats, while mitigation is a growing issue in both continents. We plan to continue exploring synergies and potential areas for collaboration between CC-DRIVER and EBCS and discuss other topics of mutual interests such as active defence, attribution challenges, digital forensics and turning data into actionable intelligence.

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