HELP University’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting in collaboration with Macquarie University, Sydney CBD, Australia, hosted guest lecturer, Professor Philomena Leung, the Associate Dean of International and Corporate Engagement and Professor of Accounting and Governance in the Faculty of Business and Economics from Macquarie University as she gave a talk, entitled, “Cyber security and its impact on business governance”.
The talk was an informative descriptive look into the growth of cyber threats online and how it effects today’s business corporate governance. Professor Leung began her lecture by describing to the students about what cybercrime is all about and what are the different types of cybercrime that are being committed today. Cybercrime, said Professor Leung, is a computer related crime that involves a hacking /breaching into a computer or a network to commit a crime.
She explained that cybercrime could potentially threaten a person or a business’s security and financial health and cited several high profiles cases in the international news about big movie studios being blackmailed by hackers. Professor Leung also said that other forms of cybercrime also includes copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, among others.
Professor Leung further explained that these cybercrimes and criminal acts are committed online against individuals or groups of individuals to willfully harm the reputation of the victim or directly or indirectly cause some form of physical or mental harm or loss. These cyber-criminals will use all forms of modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet, chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups and mobile phones messaging and networking apps to commit their crimes.
Unfortunately, said Professor Leung, there are currently no international laws to fight or recognize these types of cybercrimes and although, countries like Germany have formed laws to combat cybercrimes, such laws are still up for debate. She then pointed out that cyber hackers who have been caught have even been offered jobs by companies for them to test their cyber security integrity. This is because, said Professor Leung, these cyber criminals commonly exploit weaknesses or gaps in online and internet policies and procedures such as failure to check something more than once, making it easier to steal a company’s personal data.
Professor Leung pointed out that no businesses today can afford to ignore cybercrime. The losses that can incur from a cyber-attack – both direct and indirect, can result in downtime or costly lost productivity, loss of a company’s assets of finances or even stolen data that can be sold by these cyber criminals. Professor Leung stated that businesses today must adhere to a set of failsafe practical protocols and remedial system policies that ensure cyber rules are set and followed to the latter. These rules, she said, must include ensuring that every employee of a company practice security awareness protocols such as cyber hygiene and “clean” their computer after every use.
Professor Philomena Leung is the Associate Dean of the International and Corporate Engagement and Professor of Accounting and Governance in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University. She has over 40 years of senior academic experience in tertiary education in Hong Kong and Australia, following her auditing career at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co in Hong Kong. In her role as Associate Dean, Professor Philomena initiated the establishment of the multi-disciplinary Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub with colleagues from Science and Engineering, and Arts. The Cyber Security Hub has received enormous support from industry and commerce, including an inaugural sponsorship by Optus.