As Europe, including my family, reels in the wake of the Brexit vote and the world is attempting to deal with the shockwave, ad publishers will have to deal with additional threats. Though Brexit was a political decision at the source, its effects are not limited to politics - they also affect internet ad security. Cybercriminals are likely to exploit newly-exposed security weaknesses, hurting consumers and publishers alike.
The problem is that in the aftermath of Brexit, confusion may reign supreme, and any changes in laws could allow phishing and targeted campaigns that will harm UK users. Courts are unsure of what the laws will be in three months. How will malicious entities be prosecuted? What will be illegal, and where will the legal gaps be? Until now, Britain was governed by the EU's laws on cybercrime, and the security was seamless. Now, the situation has changed - and until we know if the laws will change, too, chaos will reign.
Brexit, the Unnatural Disaster
It's well known that rates of cybercriminal activity rise after events negatively impacting world economy, and unfortunately, Brexit is likely to become one of those events. It's not just the economy that will suffer, though. The local and global uncertainty that Brexit caused is bad for markets, but great for criminals. Like any other type of criminal activity, cybercrime is more likely to happen if the potential perpetrators feel that they have a free hand to do as they like. Fearful people fall for online scams, and nervous people are more vulnerable to social engineering attacks. Plus, now that UK citizens are less protected, there are more opportunities for cybercriminals to party.
But the damage doesn't stop in Britain. The World Wide Web is truly worldwide. Just as it's not clear if Facebook can be prosecuted in a New York court, it's not completely clear how transnational law enforcement will work, now that the EU and Britain are separate.
The Plan of Attack
While there's a question regarding what types of cyber-attacks are most likely to increase, the list is likely to include: DDoS and system compromise via SQL injection, phishing, malware – especially ransomware, and financial fraud.
Ad publishers, as well as other users, need to be aware that user privacy and data may be highly compromised.
Following the Letter of Which Law
Ad companies will have to comply with both UK and EU regulations. And if other countries follow the UK's lead in leaving the EU, navigating cyber security laws is likely to become even more complicated. Any topic has competing or differing laws surrounding it will be a source of confusion - and confusion usually leads to mis-implementation, or, in this case, security breaches affecting users' data. And if a country lacks laws on data protection, or has laws that are too weak, it's going to affect their online interactions with EU residents.
Contrary to the EU, which has been known for strong regulation and its commitment to protecting its citizens' privacy, the UK has been known for its "state first" security system. It's true; the two aren't necessarily in conflict. But it's also true that if the UK decides to dump the EU's regulations, it will be to users' detriment.
Although UK businesses (like UK users) probably won't be affected immediately, if the cybersecurity laws become more complex, companies will be less likely to comply. That gives UK companies less than two years before cybercriminals start to viciously attack them.
How to Protect Yourself from Malware Attacks
To combat that risk, clear guidelines and security measures need to be implemented. Accelerating and adopting the premier ad security and verification solutions will help everything from prevention to resolution.
GeoEdge ensures that you and your users will always have a safe, malware-free ad experience. GeoEdge takes data privacy seriously, and works to stop any security breaches in your ad campaigns. Contact us today.