Cybersecurity, why a hotline number could be important?

Pierluigi Paganini October 06, 2023

The creation of a dedicated emergency number for cybersecurity could provide an effective solution to this rapidly growing challenge

The growing threat of cybercrime is calling for new and innovative defense strategies. While the phone number for physical emergencies is already time-tested, the absence of a similar hotline for cybercrimes is a significant gap in our digital security.

However, the idea of creating a dedicated emergency number for cybersecurity could provide an effective solution to this rapidly growing challenge. Statistics show a steady increase in cyber attacks targeting citizens and businesses, causing financial, security and privacy damage. In this context, the implementation of a cybersecurity emergency number could provide a timely and specialized response to these threats. 

Since companies often lack the resources and knowledge to effectively protect themselves from cybercrime and and there are too few qualified IT professionals, the establishment of a cybersecurity emergency number so designed could provide small and medium-sized enterprises with even basic resilience.

What benefits

A dedicated cybersecurity emergency number would have several benefits. First, it would ensure an immediate point of contact for those who find themselves victims of a cyber attack. Anyone could call this number and get targeted support from cybersecurity experts to prevent further damage and preserve any evidence for investigation.

No less important, an emergency cybersecurity number would encourage the spread of digital education. Operators could provide guidelines by promoting best practices. This would have a long-term impact on cybercrime prevention, helping to create a society more aware of digital threats.

Collaboration among different stakeholders

However, implementing such a system would require an initial financial investment, careful planning, and collaboration among various stakeholders.

While emergency services for physical security are now entrenched in society, the implementation of a cybersecurity emergency number would require significant investment, but justified by the broad scope and impact of cybercrime.

In addition, the relevant authorities should coordinate with cybersecurity experts, emergency operators, and telecommunication service providers to ensure an efficient flow of information and resources. An advertising campaign may also be needed to inform the community of the existence and importance of the service.

Cybersecurity Community Clinics

Europe could follow the example of what is happening in the United States, where the possibility of creating a cybersecurity emergency number is already being discussed, with plans to establish cybersecurity clinics at public and private universities.

The most recent of these pilot projects originated at the University of Texas at Austin (UT – Austin, from a CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) initiative on the idea of creating a nationwide 311 computer system for small and medium-sized businesses.


Preserving digital security in an increasingly interconnected world

Creating a cybersecurity emergency number reflects the evolution of our digital society and the need to adapt our means of response to new and emerging challenges. Such a service would not only be able to provide assistance to victims of cybercrime in a timely and effective manner, but would also help raise awareness of cybersecurity in the community. Although implementation might require considerable effort, including financial, the idea of a cybersecurity emergency number could be a really important step toward a safer digital world.

Europe too, with the right planning and cooperation, could adopt this innovative solution to preserve digital security in an increasingly interconnected world.

About the author: Salvatore Lombardo

Electronics engineer and Clusit member, for some time now, espousing the principle of conscious education, he has been writing for several online magazine on information security. He is also the author of the book “La Gestione della Cyber Security nella Pubblica Amministrazione”. “Education improves awareness” is his slogan.

Twitter @Slvlombardo

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, cybercrime)

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