The Rise of Cybercrime and How to Prevent It
(guest article contributed by Josh Wardini, of Webmastersjury.org)
As people are leaning more and more towards the digital world, cybercrime is becoming an issue that cannot be ignored. Although many individuals and businesses are doing all they can to prevent such attacks, there is still a big risk that attackers may get in. There are various types of attack that could occur and for many reasons, but one thing is for sure, you don’t want to be the victim of a cybercrime.
Cybercrime can be described as a type of criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device, and a network. The primary impact of this sort of crime is financial, and businesses have lost millions by attackers managing to breach their security.
- Difficulty of getting caught – There are literally tens of thousands of internet criminals out there, the majority of which will never get caught. They don’t have to be internet geniuses, they quite simply have to lack morals and be willing to take a risk. Due to the vastness of the internet and the many ways fraud can be committed, it is very difficult for these criminals to get caught.
- Across Border Crimes – Unlike other crimes, most crimes on the internet will take place across international borders. Therefore, any law enforcement is always limited to jurisdictional boundaries. For example, if the FBI knew that a crime is being committed by someone in China, it can’t just travel to China to arrest the individual, it would have to go through a set of time consuming procedures first.
- Lack of Training – Many businesses fail to provide employees with security awareness and training regarding cybercrime. This means that the majority of people in a company will not know the best practises for preventing, spotting, and stopping cybercrime. Sometimes people are simply negligent about confidential information.
Why does cybercrime occur?
- Financial Gain – This is the reason why the majority of cybercrimes occur. The attacker is looking for some sort of payout from committing the crime which could easily be immediate or indirect. In addition to simply stealing financial accounts, credit card, or other payment card information, some criminals will target private information for resale or blackmail.
- Information – Other cyberattacks are committed to target various forms of corporate information.
- Egoistical – This is likely to be the least common reason of the three, but some criminals will commit a crime simply to acknowledge the fact that they have the skills to defeat the security that companies or individuals have put in place.
Unfortunately, it may not be possible to completely eradicate cybercrime. However, there are many ways in which businesses can try and eradicate exposure to the crime by maintaining an effective cybersecurity strategy.
- Create a cybersecurity incident response management plan that can help to support any policies and procedures you have already put in place.
- As soon as you gain new employees, you should train them on your cybersecurity policies and procedures, so they know how to protect data and what to do in the event of a security breach.
Employees could potentially be the biggest threat to your business. Although they may not be directly involved with the crime, they may be the reason that hacker gained access to your information. Chances are they will use poor passwords, giving hackers easy access. Hackers usually find passwords that include upper and lower case letters, numbers and other characters the hardest to hack.
- Make sure that all your websites and systems are up to date with all the current software releases and updates.
- Backup your data regularly in order to reduce the damage if there is a data breach.
- Protect your devices. You should aim to give your computers as much protection as possible. This can be achieved by installing an antivirus program like Bit Defender, ESET, Avast, or Malwarebytes and keeping it regularly updated, installing firewalls, and upgrading your operating system. Software developers take security very seriously, so the latest software versions will always come with the most up to date protection from cyberattacks.
- Hire a security expert. If, like many businesses, you are not experienced in preventing cyberattacks, your best option may be hiring professionals to do the job for you. Their job will be to routinely check all your systems for potential risks and mitigate the damages that expanding operations may cause.
If you could see the full list of potential cybercrimes out there, you may be tempted to stop using the internet entirely! These drastic actions will not be necessary if you simply protect yourself and take the necessary precautions that are outlined above. If you believe that you have been a victim of cybercrime, you should alert the police, even if this crime seems minor. You will be helping to prevent these criminals from committing crimes in the future.