Cybersecurity Expert Warns GDPR Could Create New Extortion Opportunities


Dr. Jessica Barker addressed hundreds of anti-fraud professionals yesterday at the 2018 ACFE Fraud Conference Europe and told them that a new weak point in organizations’ cybersecurity might stem from an unlikely source — General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. “One of the speculations about what we will see with GDPR is more extortion around hacks,” she said. She explained that if hackers breach an organization and access information they shouldn’t be able to under GDPR, they might see that as a new opportunity for extortion. “I think what we’re going to see is more criminal hackers approaching the organization saying, ‘I’ve hacked you. You could go public, you could disclose this [and subsequently] face the reputational damage and the fine, or you could pay me for this lesser amount.’”

Dr. Barker is a leader in the human nature of cybersecurity and one of the top 20 women of influence in cybersecurity in the U.K. She was joined at the conference in Frankfurt by other keynote speakers including 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winner Bastian Obermayer who worked on investigating the Panama Papers, transnational crime consultant and former director of the Centre for Fraud and Financial Crime at Teesside University Rob McCusker, vice president and head of investigations and anti-corruption at SAP Dr. Phillip Klarmann and others.

Educational sessions, taught by top experts in the anti-fraud field from around the world, are focusing on subjects ranging from GDPR compliance and ethics to virtual currency. To see video of sessions or read recaps of the conference, visit