What Does Cyberlaw Mean?

Cyberlaw is the area of law that deals with the Internet’s relationship to technological and electronic elements, including computers, software, hardware and information systems (IS).

Cyberlaw is also known as Cyber Law or Internet Law.

Cyber Law Definition and Global Impact

What is cyber law’s role in society and business? Cyber crimes include fraud, forgery, money laundering, theft, and other illegal activities performed via computer hardware and software, the internet, and networks. Cyber law investigates crimes perpetrated in the physical world but enabled in cyberspace. For example, organized crime syndicates using the internet to distribute illegal substances may face prosecution under cyber laws. In business, cyber law protects companies from unlawful access and theft of their intellectual property.

What is cyber law in different countries? While cyber crime impacts the global community, the adoption of cyber crime legislation varies among countries. Seventy-two percent of countries have cyber laws, 9% have draft legislation, and 18% have no cyber laws, according to 2019 data from the United Nations. Many states develop new cyber laws as addenda to their current codes. Some countries amend their existing national codes with legislative language on cyber crime.

Cyberlaws prevent or reduce large scale damage from cybercriminal activities by protecting information access, privacy, communications, intellectual property (IP) and freedom of speech related to the use of the Internet, websites, email, computers, cell phones, software and hardware, such as data storage devices.

The increase in Internet traffic has led to a higher proportion of legal issues worldwide. Because cyberlaws vary by jurisdiction and country, enforcement is challenging, and restitution ranges from fines to imprisonment.

Cyber law is the part of the overall legal system that deals with the Internet, cyberspace, and their respective legal issues. Cyber law covers a fairly broad area, encompassing several subtopics including freedom of expression, access to and usage of the Internet, and online privacy. Generically, cyber law is referred to as the Law of the Internet.

The first cyber law was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, enacted in 1986. Known as CFAA, this law prohibits unauthorized access to computers and includes detail about the levels of punishment for breaking that law.

Why are cyber laws needed?

Like any law, a cyber law is created to help protect people and organizations on the Internet from malicious people on the Internet and help maintain order. If someone breaks a cyber law or rule, it allows another person or organization to take action against that person or have them sentenced to a punishment.

What happens if you break a cyber law?

There are different forms of punishment depending on the type of cyber law you broke, who you offended, where you broke the law, and where you live. In many situations, breaking the rules on a website result in your account becoming suspended or banned and your IP addressed blocked. To determine the consequences of your action for minor offenses, we recommend reviewing the companies terms of service or rules.

If you’ve committed a more serious offense such as hacking, attacking another person or website, or causing another person or company distress, additional action may be taken against you.

Essential Skills in Cybersecurity

Strong analytical skills, combined with soft skills such as communication and critical thinking competencies, are necessary for professional roles in cybersecurity and cyber law. Other essential skills for those seeking careers related to cybersecurity and cyber law include competency with security tools and knowledge of security analysis, project management, and data analytics.

  • Security Tools: Security tools help organizations prevent and defend against cyber crime, enabling a quick recovery from damages related to a cyber attack. For example, a security information management tool can enhance visibility across a network’s infrastructure, while providing details of specific cyber incidents.
  • Security Analysis: Understanding how security tools fit into the cyber risk management strategy of an organization is essential. In addition to addressing known threats, identifying and analyzing risks is important to minimize successful cyber attacks.
  • Project Management: Adding new tools and software to the IT infrastructure creates more management complexity. While security experts determined the best antivirus, spam filtering, and other security tools, project management directs their successful integration and acceptance throughout the organization.
  • Data Analytics: While security tools provide vital data to identify and mitigate cyber threats, data without insight delivers little benefit. Data analytics help security professionals to decipher collected data to identify new and emerging threats and determine effective countermeasures.

Potential Careers

People who ask “what is cyber law?” may be interested in learning about careers in the field. Here are a few professional opportunities related to cybersecurity and cyber law that graduates may pursue after completing an advanced degree.

Cybersecurity Engineer

Cybersecurity engineers remain vigilant in minimizing the impacts of system security risks derived from different sources such as foreign and domestic cyber attacks, wireless intrusions, disgruntled employees, and unauthorized usage of computers. Cybersecurity engineers typically are involved in network design, user account management, and process and policy creation to limit potential security breaches. The median annual salary for this position is $94,869, according to October 2019 data from the compensation website PayScale.

Security Compliance Manager

A security compliance manager analyzes complex data to support risk management efforts and lead compliance projects and programs. Security compliance managers must remain current on compliance issues to provide knowledgeable advice on how regulatory change impacts an organization. These professionals also ascertain the risk associated with specific business actions such as mergers, acquisitions, overseas sales, and more. The median annual salary for security compliance managers is $103,212, according to October 2019 PayScale data.

Chief Risk Officer

A chief risk officer, or CRO, is the top-most executive responsible for setting policy and administering risk management efforts. This professional typically possesses a background in technology, accounting, economics, and/or the law. CROs implement internal controls and regularly conduct internal audits. They mitigate information security issues, protect against fraud, and guard intellectual property on behalf of their organizations. The median annual salary for CROs is $152,509, according to October 2019 PayScale data.

Chief Information Security Officer

As a top executive, a chief information security officer, or CISO, oversees all aspects of information and data security. This IT professional manages teams responsible for security operations and informs board-level decision-makers about security threats deriving from all manner of business activities. The CISO oversees data loss and fraud prevention, security architecture, and identity and access management. The professional also determines the causes of a breach and develop strategies to avoid future violations. In addition, the CISO acquires funding for all information security initiatives by presenting the business case for security investments to corporate leaders. The median annual salary for CISOs is $159,650, according to October 2019 PayScale data.

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