chapter  5
Issues in the prevention of cybercrime
Pages 33

As noted throughout the previous chapters, our understanding of cybercrime is growing and provides some direction for theory and policymakers. The literature on offending and victimization provides some consistent findings regarding the nature of cybercrime, but calls into question how we may more effectively deter offenders and insulate victims from risk. The behavioral, attitudinal, and demographic correlates of offending and victimization identified in the existing literature can provide substantive direction for crimeprevention techniques (Clarke, 1983; Cornish & Clarke, 1987, 2003). In fact, the implications of these studies may be used to help inform situational crimeprevention frameworks for cybercrime (Collins, Sainato, & Khey, 2011; Hinduja & Kooi, 2013; Newman & Clarke, 2003). This criminological perspective combines rational choice theory along with routine activities perspectives (Clarke & Felson, 1993; Cohen & Felson, 1979), crime pattern theories (Spelman & Eck, 1989), and the problem analysis triangle (Braga, 2002), to help shape problem-oriented policing strategies (Braga, 2002; Clarke & Eck, 2007). As noted in Chapter 3, situational crime prevention views offenders as

active thinkers who make choices to engage in crime based on their assessment of perceived risks, potential rewards, and situational factors such as environmental cues (Cornish & Clarke, 1987, 2003). Situational crime prevention focuses on five categories designed to impact both offenders and victims by identifying strategies that directly influence opportunities to offend by: (1) making it more challenging to engage in crime; (2) increase the risk of

detection; (3) reduce the rewards that may result from offending; (4) reduce provocations to offend; and (5) remove excuses for offending (Clarke, 1983, 1995, 1997; Cornish & Clarke, 2003). Within each category, there are five techniques that can be applied to affect the likelihood of crime, such as target hardening to increase the effort offenders must exert, using place managers to increase the risk of detection, concealing targets to reduce the potential rewards of offending, and posting clear rules for behavior to remove excuses for criminality (Cornish & Clarke, 2003). From this perspective, offenders may reduce their overall criminal behavior as a function of a perceived cumulative fear of apprehension, minimized conditions or opportunities to offend, or decreased rewards resulting from offending. There is generally little empirical research applying situational crime pre-

vention (SCP) to different forms of cybercrime. Most of these studies utilize aspects of SCP to examine a specific crime type (e.g. Collins et al., 2011; Khey & Sainato, 2013) or provide summary overviews of existing knowledge within an SCP framework (e.g. Hinduja & Kooi, 2013; Rege, 2013). There is, however, a substantial literature on cybercrime offending and prevention from both criminological and computer science research. This chapter will provide a synthesis of the current research literature on

preventing cybercrime from a situational crime prevention perspective. We focus primarily on acts of cyber-trespass and deception/theft as they have generated the largest overall body of research on why individuals commit these offenses and attempts to minimize the likelihood of victimization. Using these offenses, we first discuss differences in the landscape of threats to

corporations and organizations relative to individuals. We then consider the empirical research on cybercrimes using four of the five categories of techniques of situational crime prevention: (1) increasing the difficulty of offending; (2) increasing risks of offending; (3) mechanisms to reduce rewards of involvement in cybercrime; and (4) removing excuses for offenders and victims. This is not meant to be a completely comprehensive analysis of all 25 techniques of crime prevention, but rather a survey of the current state of research. In fact, we do not consider techniques to reduce provocations for involvement in cybercrime as our understanding of some of the triggering factors for offending is still in its infancy. Finally, we will discuss whether this framework has substantive value to affect the practices of both cybercriminals and their victims.