Top 6 Reasons Why is Cybercrime Expanding Rapidly- Hackers do not distinguish between large and small businesses, which is one of the reasons why cybercrime is continually growing. Data breaches, ransomware assaults, and cyberterrorism incidents are at an all-time high. Recent reports of high-profile hacks demonstrate that attackers are tenacious in their malevolent purpose. Malware variants like ZCryptor, Petya, and WannaCry, for example, have caused immeasurable reputational and financial harm to businesses all over the world.
Companies are becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks as fraudsters use emerging technology to further their harmful efforts. Furthermore, digital advances are being used on a big scale in essential areas. As a result, hackers have taken use of the chances provided by digital technologies to profit handsomely from the proceeds of criminality. Because of the growing growth of cybercrime, businesses must take extra efforts to eliminate weaknesses that could lead to assaults. The rapid rise of worldwide cybercrime can be attributed to a number of factors.
Common Types of Cybercrime
All activities that use or target a networked device, computer network, or any I.T. infrastructure are classified as cybercrime. Computer technologies are used by cybercriminals to commit illicit acts such as stealing user identities, invading personal privacy, and trafficking in intellectual property and child pornography. They use the Internet to attack information assets by exploiting security flaws in digital systems.
Some of the most common types of cybercrime are as follows:
Identity theft is a swindle in which crooks utilise another person’s identification credentials for nefarious purposes. Hackers could, for example, acquire illegal access to a person’s bank account or credit card information and use it to steal money or make transactions in the owner’s name.
Despite the fact that the concept of identity theft predates the Internet, the rising usage of digital information makes it easier for criminals to steal a victim’s identity. Identity theft is common in many online transactions, and it commonly takes the form of ad pop-ups, spam emails, and phishing attempts.
Phishing attacks are used by cybercriminals to deceive users into disclosing sensitive information such as passwords, bank account details, social security numbers, and other sorts of personal data. Phishing schemes have shown to be very effective because crooks only need a few resources to carry them out.
Hackers can develop a phishing website that looks exactly like a legitimate website in order to fool people into divulging important information. Criminals may also send out bulk email messages with links to malicious websites or attachments in the hopes that consumers will click on them.
Malicious cyber actors infiltrate a computer network or system with viruses, trojans, ransomware, and spyware via malware attacks. Malware is any software designed to do harm to a computer. A malware infection can allow attackers to infiltrate a company and steal extremely sensitive data such as intellectual property and competitive strategy.
Ransomware is one of the most common types of malware. A cybercriminal can use this attack to encrypt a victim’s computer systems and only supply a decryption key when a ransom is paid. The global WannaCry ransomware assault is an example of a ransomware attack. Thousands of computer systems throughout the world have been infected by cybercriminals.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
DDoS assaults are used by cyber attackers to bring down corporate networks and computer systems. Hackers aim for a corporation with a high volume of network traffic in order to prohibit authorised users from accessing or using network resources. DDoS attacks use conventional communication protocols to overwhelm a computer system by flooding it with multiple connection attempts.
The approach is frequently used by cybercriminals in cyber-extortion schemes, when they threaten a DDoS assault unless a certain amount of money is paid. DDoS attacks may also be used by malicious actors as a diversionary tactic while committing other sorts of cybercrime. The 2017 DDoS attack on the UK National Lottery Website is a recent example. The lottery’s mobile application and website were down, preventing online players from participating.
Recent Cybercrime Statistics
In recent years, cybercrime threats have increased at an unprecedented rate. Despite this, many individuals and companies fail to take cybersecurity seriously, with some using common credentials to secure their accounts and devices and others utilising equipment with insufficient security.
The following cybercrime statistics demonstrate the seriousness of the threat:
1. A computer attack occurs every 39 seconds, according to a research conducted by the University of Maryland. A phishing attack, malware attack, or direct hacking could be the hostile occurrence.
A realtime threat map displaying more than 27 million attacks in a single day (screenshot) (Source: Check Point Software Technologies)
2. 78 percent of organisations in the United States have been attacked: For monetary gain, most hackers target firms that process personal or financial information. One of the causes for the rapid growth of cybercrime is financial motive. Small and medium-sized businesses are frequently targeted by cybercriminals. They frequently lack the resources necessary to put in place effective cybersecurity precautions. As a result, such businesses account for the vast bulk of the victims.
3. The number of mobile malware types has increased by 54%: The rise of mobile malware demonstrates how cybercriminals have improved their attack methods over time. Malicious adversaries have developed newer sophisticated malware versions as the use of mobile and IoT technology has grown.
4. 63 percent of organisations have had data breaches: According to a Dell poll, 63 percent of firms’ data has been compromised as a result of a software or hardware-level security breach. Only 28% of firms are happy with vendor-implemented security measures, according to the same poll.
5. The number of distinct malware programmes increased by 14 percent in 2019: Kaspersky’s web antivirus solution discovered 24,610,126 unique malware programmes in 2019, up 14 percent from 2018. Because of the rapid growth of malware, about 20% of internet users have been victims to malware attacks.
Why is cybercrime expanding rapidly? The 6 reasons
An unprecedented rise of cyber-stuff
Almost all crimes involving digital technologies now begin with the prefix cyber. Words like cyberwar, cybercriminals, and cybercrime have become commonplace. As a result, it’s critical to avoid thinking of cyber-attacks as complex concepts and instead consider them as simple crimes perpetrated by hackers.
It is now much easier to steal personal information or undermine a company’s security from afar. Numerous automation systems with AI and machine learning capabilities have advanced, allowing criminals to perform cybercrime without requiring extensive skills or technical knowledge. For a modest fee, the tools are easily available on the dark web. Anyone with a rudimentary technical understanding may readily locate and use them. As a result, cybercrime has increased in comparison to previous years.
The Internet architecture
The initial designers of the Internet infrastructure were more concerned with durability and stability than with security. They did not consider security when developing and constructing network infrastructure. Besides, the Internet’s designers never imagined that it would become a platform for sending millions of dollars or information worth much more than it is now.
Measures to make the Internet more secure have been created as it has evolved into a social and commercial space rather than a platform for academic reasons. Nonetheless, the majority of the underlying design is based on insecure transit mechanisms that are easily hijacked.
Cybercriminals have continued to take advantage of security flaws to further their nefarious attacks. The Internet has also become integral to the majority of important operations, such as the management of critical assets and infrastructures. Hackers continue to take advantage of the Internet’s weakness to launch assaults, resulting in an increase in criminality.
The role of hackers in information security
Professional hackers, often known as security researchers or ethical hackers, are paid the majority of the time. Their responsibilities include identifying security issues in information systems and developing tools to demonstrate and detect them. The researchers then make the tools available to the broader public, with the majority of them ending up in the hands of bad persons.
To infiltrate systems and steal important information, many cyber criminals employ legitimate hacking tools. Other black hat hackers are also developing similar technologies to aid in the growth of cybercrime. There has been an explosion of hacking tools as hackers have gained more experience and gained access to newer technologies. As a result, the field of cyberspace and information security has devolved into a competition between the adoption of defensive technologies and the development of hacking tools and techniques. As a result, cybercrime is on the rise.
Companies are slower in adopting strong security
The reality of today’s cybercrime scene is that most businesses do not consider it cost-effective to upgrade their security systems until it is absolutely necessary. Profit-driven businesses frequently wait until they are attacked or their clients demand improved protection before upgrading their security measures. Facebook, for example, refused to deploy secure sessions until its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had his account hijacked. Facebook only began to take user security seriously until it was determined to be a personal issue.
Many other businesses follow the same security strategy. Some people may be aware that their systems or networks are unsecured or vulnerable, yet they fail to address the problem due to time constraints. Furthermore, most commercial and public organisations have lax security policies, which contributes to the rise of cybercrime.
Humans have been the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain for a long time. Many computer users and company workers are uneducated in secure system operation and optimal security practises. While many users concentrate on security and software tools to identify and remove malware, fraudsters have turned their attention to people.
The majority of effective assaults begin by duping unsuspecting users into opening malware-laden attachments or visiting malicious websites. Through social engineering and other related frauds, cyber enemies are skilled at manipulating human trust. Cybercrime has increased dramatically as a result of users being duped into providing information such as passwords, financial details, healthcare information, and personal data.
Internet of Things (IoT) proliferation
The global IoT market is currently valued at $82.4 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 21.3 percent expected between 2020 and 2028. The internet of things (IoT) refers to gadgets that can connect to the internet. Each IoT device provides an attack surface, and the widespread use of IoT systems has aided the increase of cybercrime.
Many companies allow staff to use IoT devices because they have been shown to increase productivity and streamline key procedures. Hackers can simply find a vulnerable device and exploit it to commit a cybercrime with so many endpoints brought to a network. Furthermore, IoT devices are rapidly being used to control vital infrastructure and industry processes, drawing a greater number of attackers. Due to the enormous market, vendors are likewise rushing to release the most products. Manufacturers add security as an afterthought in their quest to outdo competition, resulting in gadgets with exploitable weaknesses.
How can businesses protect themselves?
Businesses should take proactive efforts to defend themselves from cybercrime, which is continuously growing. The following suggestions can aid in the reduction of cybercrime:
- Update software on a regular basis: Regularly updating software and operating systems prevents thieves from exploiting vulnerabilities. Patching security weaknesses makes you less of a target, which is critical for reducing cybercrime.
- Outsource security services: For small and medium-sized enterprises that lack the resources to improve their cybersecurity posture, outsourcing security services is the ideal option. Managed service providers have access to the most up-to-date and effective security techniques, technologies, and personnel. Cybercrime is dramatically reduced when security is outsourced.
- Protect yourself from identity theft: Using VPNs in your home or office network can help you avoid identity theft. To prevent fraudsters from intercepting communications, it is critical to securely communicate personal information and passwords.
- Normalize training: Businesses and individual computer users should receive cybersecurity training and awareness on a regular basis. Being well-versed in the most effective security measures
- Use powerful antivirus/antimalware software: Antivirus software improves cybersecurity by detecting and removing malicious apps. To get the most up-to-date threat definitions, users must ensure that their antimalware solutions are updated on a regular basis.