Cyber theft has long replaced the "traditional" concept of bank robberies. A much more sophisticated method of attack that has been in use for years has accelerated of late as a series of hacks across the world has proved.

Recent international targets, including the US Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the Philippines and Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Doha, have all been subject to notable security breaches.

What is striking, however, is the fact that in some instances, no money has been stolen. In QNB's case it was a robbery of data - hundreds of customers account details, including their passwords, their social media profiles, were posted on to a whistleblower website. No one really knows what's behind it, but it proved that data is almost more valuable that money these days.

Where once the main purpose behind this activity was to make money, hacking and leaking information has now escalated into issues as prominent as state secrets, government intelligence and political gain as part of the "hacktivism" movement.

With the safety of the consumer remaining an issue due to the slow-paced movements of the enterprise world versus that of the ever-evolving technological capacity of the hacking world, the public is forced to brace themselves for further and harder-hitting attacks in times to come.

Are businesses doing enough to protect their customers' data?

We talk to James Lyne, director at the London-based Sans Security Institute and the global head of Research of SOPHOS, about the impact of cyber theft and the future cyber crime.

We also talk to Nourulddin Aulabi, a former professor of information security at Strayer University and a cyber security consultant, about the issues behind cyberattacks.

Also on this episode of Counting the Cost:

Automobile industry secrets exposed: Mitsubishi, the world's 16th largest car manufacturer, is now also owning up to cheating quality tests. The Japanese car giant has confessed to faking fuel economy tests for the past 25 years - a lie that affects more than 600,000 cars sold in that period in Japan alone. Aside from a sharp fall in market value over the past week, notable repercussions on the tail of similar scandals courtesy of Volkswagen and General Motors include considerable brand damage and in effect, a dramatic loss in consumer trust.

Ivory Coast: Africa's new foreign investment leader? The International Monetary Fund has highlighted the Ivory Coast as the fastest-growing African economy for this year with a predicted growth of 8.5 percent, beating Nigeria as the top destination for foreign direct investment. The country continues to witness a period of relative calm since the end of the second civil war in 2011. 

Tractors for Cuba: For the first time in more than half a century, a US company is returning to Cuban soil. The small Alabama tractor factory, which is planning to build tractors for private Cuban farmers, is expected to begin operating next year - another sign of growing ties between the two countries. 

Source: Al Jazeera