Industry News

Fighting crime in the digital age

Magnet Forensics CEO Adam Belsher published an editorial titled Fighting Crime in the Digital Age in the National Post, coinciding with our participation at the 111th annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference (Aug. 14-17).

In the column, Adam provides an overview of the challenges people and society are facing as a result of the rise of digital crime. He argues that politicians, Chiefs of Police, and technology companies must come together to develop solutions, and support law enforcement in this changing world.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the piece and a link to the full column is below.

This week, top police officials from coast to coast have descended on our nation’s capital for the 111th annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference. The topic that will shape their discussion, Public Safety in a Digital Age: Real Victims — Real Crime, is timely, given that we’re at an important societal juncture. 

So much of our daily lives now take place online: our wealth passes through jurisdictions in the form of ones and zeros; the most intimate details of our lives, whether they are held by government or industry, rest on servers located somewhere around the globe; and our critical infrastructure, whether it is managed by the public or private sector, is operated digitally.

Given the recent media coverage of data breaches and many people’s personal experiences with fraudulent phishing schemes, it’s understandable that we, as consumers and citizens, want to erect the highest walls possible around our valuable digital assets. This is a natural human reaction, but it isn’t a realistic societal response, given the magnitude of our online world.

Consider some facts. Ninety per cent of the data that has ever been created has been produced in the past two years. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Current prototypes of driverless cars generate a gigabyte of data a second. This year alone, 1.4 billion smartphones will be shipped. In the next five years, it is estimated that there will be 50 billion connected devices worldwide. And these are conservative estimates, given the exponential innovation we’ve seen in the field of information technology in recent years.

Securing ourselves and our digital assets on our own is not feasible. We cannot create a zero-risk digital environment. The statistics underscore this. In StatsCan’s last national analysis on crime, it reported that the overall crime rate is down to its lowest point since 1998. However, three areas of crime have increased significantly: fraud, child exploitation and terrorism.


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