why is cybercrime expanding rapidly
Cybercriminals don’t discriminate between large and small businesses, which is why cybercrime has been growing rapidly. Unprecedented incidents such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and cyberterrorism are on the rise. Recent high-profile attacks show that adversaries are relentless in their malicious intent. Organizations all around the globe have suffered untold financial and reputational damage from malware variations like ZCryptor and Petya.
Cybercriminals are using emerging technologies to further their malicious campaigns. Companies are becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Digital innovations are also being used in critical sectors. Hackers have taken advantage of digital technology’s potential to make large amounts from cybercrime proceeds. Organizations must take strict precautions to eliminate vulnerabilities that could lead to attacks due to cybercrime’s rapid growth. There are many reasons for the rapid rise in global cybercrime.
Common Types Of Cybercrime
Cybercrime refers to all activities that target or use a networked device or computer network or any I.T. infrastructure. Cybercriminals use computer technology to commit illegal acts, including stealing user identities, violating the privacy, and trafficking in intellectual property or child pornography. Cybercriminals exploit security flaws in digital systems to access information assets via the Internet.
These are the top cybercrimes:
1. Identity theft
Identity theft is when criminals steal the identity credentials of another person to commit fraud. Hackers may gain unauthorized access to someone’s bank account or credit card information, and then use it to steal funds from the owner or make purchases using his identity.
The idea of identity theft has been around since before the advent of the internet. However, adversaries can now steal victims’ identities more easily due to the increasing use of digital information. Online identity theft is common in various forms, including ad pop-ups and spam emails.
2. Phishing scams
To trick victims into divulging sensitive information such as passwords and bank account information, cybercriminals use Phishing Attacks. Since criminals need minimal resources to carry out the attacks, phishing scams are highly effective.
Hackers could create a fake website called phishing, to trick users into giving sensitive information. To trick users into clicking on malicious attachments or websites, criminals can also send bulk email messages containing links.
3. Malware attacks
Malicious cyber-criminals use malware attacks to infect computer networks or systems with viruses and trojans. Ransomware, ransomware, and spyware. Malware can be any program that is designed to infect a computer. Cybercriminals can use malware to infect a computer and steal sensitive information such as intellectual property, competition strategies, and other confidential information.
Ransomware is one of the most common types of malware. This malware allows cybercriminals to lock down victims’ computers and provide a decryption code after paying a ransom. The global WannaCry ransomware attack is an example of this type. Cybercriminals have infected thousands upon thousands of computers around the globe.
4. Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS).
DDoS attacks are used by cyber adversaries to bring down computer systems and organizational networks. Hackers attack companies with high network traffic to block authorized users from using or accessing the network resources. DDoS cybercrimes overload a computer system by using standard communication protocols to spam it with many connection requests.
Cybercriminals use this strategy often in cyber-extortion strategies, threatening a DDoS strike if they don’t get paid a certain sum of money. DDoS tactics can also be used by malicious actors to distract them from other cybercrimes. The 2017 DDoS attack on the U.K. National Lottery Website is a recent example. Online users were unable to play due to the inaccessibility of the lottery’s website and mobile app.
Recent Cybercrime Statistics
In recent years, cybercrime has seen an unprecedented rise in severity. Many people and organizations neglect to take cybersecurity seriously. Some use common credentials to protect their accounts and devices, while others use insecure devices.
These cybercrime statistics show the severity of cybercrime:
1. An attack occurs approximately every 39 seconds. A University of Maryland study found that a computer attack happens every 39 seconds. An adversarial incident could take the form of a malware attack, phishing, or direct hacking.
Screenshot: Live threat map showing that more than 27,000,000 attacks occurred in one day (Source: Check Point Software Technologies).
2. 78% of U.S. companies have been the victims of attacks: Most hackers attack companies that handle personal or financial data for monetary gain. Cybercrime is on the rise because of financial motivation. Cybercriminals tend to target small and medium-sized businesses. These cybercriminals often don’t have the resources necessary to implement strong cybersecurity measures. These businesses make up the majority of the victims and are therefore the most vulnerable.
3. A 54% rise in mobile malware variants: This shows how cybercriminals have continuously improved their attack methods. Malicious adversaries have developed newer malware variants due to the increased use of IoT and mobile technologies.
4. 63% have been affected by data breaches. A Dell survey revealed that 63% of the companies’ data was compromised because of software- or hardware-level security attack. According to the same survey, only 28% of companies are satisfied with vendor-implemented cybersecurity measures.
5. The number of unique malware programs increased by 14%: According to Kaspersky, the company’s web antivirus software detected 24,610,126 malware programs in 2019, an 14% increase over 2018. A sharp rise in malware advancements has made it possible for almost 20% of internet users to be subject to malware attacks.
Why cybercrime is growing rapidly
1. Unprecedented growth in cyber-stuff
In almost all digital crimes, the prefix cyber is common. Cybercrime, cybercriminals, and cyberwar are all terms we have come to expect. It is important to stop referring to cyber-related attacks in sophisticated terms and start thinking of them as simple crimes that hackers commit using easy tactics.
It is easier than ever to hack into personal information and compromise security remotely. Many automation tools have A.I. Many automation tools with A.I. and ML capabilities have improved, allowing criminals to engage in cybercrimes without needing high-level technical skills. These tools can be found on the dark internet for very little money. They are easily accessible to anyone with even a slight technical inclination. Cybercrime has increased in recent years.
2. The Internet architecture
Original architects of the Internet infrastructure were more concerned with stability and durability than security. When designing and building the network infrastructure, they were not concerned about security. The architects didn’t think that the Internet would be a way to transmit millions of dollars and information worth much more than it does today.
The Internet has become more social and commercial than it was for academic purposes. Therefore, security measures are being developed to keep it safer. However, the majority of the design relies on insecure transport methods that are easily hijacked.
Cybercriminals continue to exploit security flaws to launch their malicious campaigns. The Internet is now central to many vital processes, including the control of critical infrastructures and assets. Cybercriminals are on the rise as hackers continue to exploit the Internet’s insecurity.
3. Information security hackers
Today, most people are employed as professional hackers. These hackers are also known as security researchers or ethical hackers. They are responsible for finding security flaws in information systems and creating tools to demonstrate and detect them. They then make the tools available to the public. Most of these end up in the hands of malicious people.
Hackers use legitimate tools to hack systems and steal sensitive data. Other black-hat hackers also create similar tools to aid in the growth of cybercrime. Hackers have become more skilled and can access newer technologies constantly, which has led to an explosion in hacking tools. Cyberspace and information security have become a race between hacking tools and the advancement of protection technologies. Cybercrime is on the rise.
4. Companies take longer to implement strong security measures.
Cybercrime has become so prevalent that many companies aren’t willing to upgrade their security systems unless it becomes necessary. Companies that are motivated by profit will often delay updating their security systems until they experience an attack or when their customers require better security. Facebook’s failure to implement secure sessions was an example. This happened after Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, was hacked. Facebook did not take user security seriously until it deemed it a personal problem.
Similar security strategies are used by many other companies. While some may be aware of the vulnerability or insecurity of their networks or systems, they fail to address them quickly. Cybercrime is on the rise because of poor security practices by both private and public organizations.
5. Targeting people
Humans have always been the weakest link of the cybersecurity chain. Computer users and employees in companies are not trained on how to use secure systems and best security practices. Cybercriminals are focusing their attention on human security, not software tools that can detect and remove malware.
Many successful cyber-attacks start by tricking innocent victims into clicking on malware-laden attachments or websites. Hackers are skilled at exploiting trust via social engineering and similar scams. Cybercrime has increased significantly by tricking people to give out personal information such as their passwords, bank details, or healthcare information.
6. Internet of Things, (IoT), proliferation
Global IoT market value is $82.4 billion. It is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 21.3% between 2020-2028. IoT is defined as devices that can connect to the internet. Every IoT device is an attack surface. This has led to cybercrime increasing in the IoT.
IoT devices are often allowed by businesses because they can improve productivity and streamline critical operations. Hackers can easily identify vulnerable devices and exploit them to commit cybercrimes by having so many connections to a network. IoT systems are also increasingly being used for critical infrastructure control and factory operations, attracting more adversaries. Due to the huge market, vendors are racing to release more products. Manufacturers rush to beat their competitors, which leads to devices with exploitable vulnerabilities.
How can businesses safeguard themselves?
Businesses should take proactive steps to safeguard themselves against cybercrime, as it is growing rapidly. These recommendations will help to reduce cybercrime.
- Cybercriminals have no chance to exploit vulnerabilities if they don’t regularly update their software. Operating systems and software must be updated regularly. It is crucial to reduce cybercrime by patching security holes.
- Outsourcing security services: Outsourcing security can be a great strategy for small and medium-sized companies that don’t have the financial resources to improve their cybersecurity. Managed service providers can access the most current and efficient security tools, professionals, and practices. Cybercrime is significantly reduced when security is outsourced.
- Identity theft prevention: VPNs can be used in your home or company network to prevent identity theft. To prevent cyber criminals from intercepting your communication, it is important to share passwords and personal information securely.
- Training: Cybersecurity awareness and training should be common for individuals and businesses. Becoming familiar with the most effective security
- Use robust antivirus/antimalware tools: Antivirus software programs enhance cybersecurity since they detect and eliminate harmful programs. User?