Cyber criminals are a source of income for hackers
Should digital security be important to you? While a large proportion of hackers’ income comes from the sale of malware and spam campaigns, others are more interested in making money by stealing sensitive information from businesses. Some cyber criminals make millions of dollars per year by selling this data on the Dark Web, a market worth up to $160 billion annually.
The digital world has shifted the way we live, with most human activity now taking place online. This has fueled the growth of cyber crime, which criminals see as an opportunity to make money. While extortion is one of the most common ways for hackers to make money, they have also been known to make money by identity theft, fake auctions, and selling stolen information.
Damaging cyber crimes
Some of the most damaging types of cyber crime involve ransomware, the digital equivalent of physical crime. Ransomware holds a computer’s data hostage until a ransom is paid. Cybercrime is often accompanied by other forms of cyber crime, such as cyber extortion and phishing. Phishing is when a hacker uses an email to entice an unsuspecting victim into clicking on a link or downloading an attachment. In this way, the phishing email compromises the computer with malware and infects the user’s system.
Cybercrime has become more prevalent, especially as the use of the Internet grows and businesses rely on internet connectivity and data. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, the U.S. is at risk of a major cyberattack on its power grid. However, the US is not prepared for such a devastating event. Warren Buffet has even called cybercrime the number one threat facing mankind.
Small business owners are attracted to cybercrime
Cybercriminals are looking to exploit small businesses because they have less security than large businesses. Small businesses have less staff and fewer resources, so they can easily be compromised. This makes small businesses the perfect entry point for cybercriminals. Cyberattacks on small businesses can be devastating, so securing their computer networks is crucial.
A recent study from IBM Security found that 40 percent of small business owners have been targeted by cybercriminals since the cybercrime pandemic began. Unfortunately, many small business owners do not fully appreciate the nature of the threats. Most of them believe cybercriminals are lone wolves who pick their targets carefully in order to establish their reputation among their peers. While the average phisher or ransomware sender is likely to be an individual, the reality is quite different.
American digital security
In the United States, cyberattacks cost the economy billions of dollars every year, and are a serious threat to both individuals and businesses. Small businesses are an especially attractive target for cybercriminals because they lack the resources to implement the security measures that larger companies use to protect their digital systems. Moreover, most small business owners do not have the budget to hire a security expert.
Unfortunately, small businesses do not back up all important data or practice data recovery. As a result, the damage caused by a cyberattack on a small business is far greater than any potential ransom payment. Furthermore, small businesses often lack the funds to pay a ransom, as they don’t have lines of credit or piles of cash lying around.
Cybercrime has become a major problem for businesses, as they rely heavily on data and internet connectivity to conduct their daily business. According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the internet is the largest contributor to economic growth of small, upstart companies. This is because the internet makes even the smallest firm have an international impact.
Developing a digital security plan can reduce cybercrime
Developing a digital security plan for your organization is essential to prevent cybercrime and protect data. The rising cost of cybercrime is not limited to financial loss; it also affects productivity and business confidence. The human element is always a part of cybercrime, whether it’s clicking on a link or misconfiguring a network. Luckily, education and awareness can help reduce the risk of a cyberattack.
While cybersecurity best practices can only go so far, there are many new and sophisticated cyber attacks that can cause significant damage. Before implementing a cybersecurity plan for your business, it is important to understand the definition of digital security and some of the most common types of cybercrime and what can be done to prevent them. For instance, you should consider the threat of malicious software, which is software that is specifically designed to cause damage. Malware can be in the form of viruses or ransomware, and they can cause significant problems for your business.
While technological advancements have made it easier for organizations to implement better security measures, the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and their sophisticated tools has made this task more difficult. In addition to causing financial damage, a cyberattack can even endanger the lives of users. Developing digital security solutions for your organization is essential to reducing cybercrime.
Organizations should also consider deploying a security plan that includes employee training. Many organizations find that employees are the weakest link in security, sharing passwords with other employees, clicking on malicious URLs, or downloading malware. They also fail to encrypt sensitive data and files. These mistakes make it very easy for hackers to access sensitive information.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a critical component of digital security, as it adds another layer of security, reducing the risk of hackers accessing your accounts. Combined with a strong password, 2FA will make your data more difficult to steal. It will also make you more aware of hacking attempts, so you can take the necessary precautions.
Two-factor authentication is also useful in thwarting brute-force attacks, in which hackers try to guess passwords repeatedly until they succeed. In addition to this, 2FA protects against keyloggers, which record keystrokes and use them to hack into accounts. Using two-factor authentication, these attempts are detected and the user is immediately informed about the attempts. Only after verification of the second factor can access be granted.
Another use for 2FA is to secure email accounts. It encrypts emails and cloud storage services by demanding a password and a second factor, which may be biometric data such as a fingerprint, face, or retina. It can also be used to secure remote desktop software. Many businesses use 2FA to control access to company networks.
Mobile devices have become an ideal platform for 2FA. App-based 2FA allows users to use an app on their smartphone or smart-phone to verify their login attempts. A device that is trusted by the user is also needed for this type of authentication. This eliminates the risk of hackers intercepting the transmission and compromising the account.
Hardware tokens are another popular option for 2FA. These small USB devices are connected to a computer and emit a new numeric code every 30 seconds. When an account is being accessed, the user looks at their device and enters the code displayed on the screen. Some devices even automatically transfer the 2FA code to a computer when plugged into a USB port. However, the downsides to hardware tokens are that they are expensive to distribute and are easily lost or hacked.
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