What Is Cybercrime and How You Can Prevent It
UPDATED July 3, 2023
Cyber threats happen, you know that. I don't need to tell you that. But do you know how it can affect your business? Let me throw some statistics at you. Did you know nearly 1 billion emails were exposed in 2022? This affected 1 in 5 internet users globally and unless you have 4 employees in your company right now, most likely one of those was YOUR employee. Of those emails, around 236.1 million of them resulted in ransomware attacks and that was just in the first half of 2022. The second half of 2022 resulted in a 41% increase in ransomware attacks compared the first half. On top of all that, data breaches cost businesses like yours and average of $4.35 million. That was just 2022. Are you with me yet? We're just getting started.
What is cybercrime?
Because of the virtually-connected world we live in today, cybercrime is a bigger risk now than ever before and a serious threat to anyone using the internet. But, what exactly is it?
TechTarget gives the following cybercrime definition: “Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.” This includes acts of hacking, phishing, or spamming online material. Cybercriminals can use computer technology to access personal data and business trade secrets. Cybercrime and cyber threats are also used as tools to commit malicious acts, such as cyberbullying and other hate crimes we see so often in our day to day.
Cybercrime can be separated into two categories:
- Crimes that target computer networks and devices, such as viruses, malware, and denial of service (DoS) attacks.
- Crimes that use computer networks to perform criminal activities, like identity theft and cyberbullying.
Common Types of Cybercrime
- Identity theft
The Department of Justice defines this as all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Online people can do this through obtaining personal information or logins which give them access to your data. They can then leverage this information by falsely claiming they're you or your business. This type of cybercrime can also have aspects of theft of sensitive data or intellectual property.
- Email Spam
Another name for this is "phishing" where a malicious cybercriminal attempts to acquire sensitive data, such as bank account numbers, through a fraudulent solicitation in email or on a web site, in which the perpetrator masquerades as a legitimate business or reputable person. As of 2022, this was the most common type of cybercrime in the US. Many times this is how people implant ransomware into your computer or infrastructure, forcing you to pay a "ransom" for you data and information back. Unfortunately, many people do no receive their information back and have lost their money as well.
- Text "Smishing"
This is a newer type of "phishing" scam where cybercriminals conduct an attack over mobile text messaging, also known as SMS phishing. As a variant of phishing, victims are deceived into giving sensitive information to a disguised attacker. Oftentimes they are impersonating someone you know in order or trust (a form of identity fraud as well!) so you'll eventually engage with a link or service conducted over the phone.
This type of threat is bullying or coersion that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Oftentimes, cybercriminals then use this information against you to blackmail you into their schemes.
How to Prevent Cybercrime
Here are some ways to help you make for a safer and more secured environment:
- Implement IP Traffic Protection
Integrated application systems secure the network against attacks and identifies potential threats through end-to-end security.
- Activate Your Firewall
Firewalls act as the first line of defense, blocking connections to unfamiliar sites, hackers, and viruses.
- Use Anti-Virus/Malware Software
Prevent viruses from infecting your network. Regularly install and update your software to ensure quality protection.
- Educate Your Staff
Human error accounts for many data breaches. The best defense is making sure your entire organization understands the risks and are trained to accurately detect and report cybercrime.
- Block Spyware Attacks
Prevent spyware from creeping into your computer by installing and updating anti-spyware software. Automatic Threat Containment and Vulnerability Scans are excellent first steps for this defense.
- Choose a Trusted Cybersecurity Partner
Cybercrime can feel a lot more daunting than you're ready to take on alone. We're happy to be an extension of your team and help you navigate the dark web.
Would you feel safe if your doors were unlocked while you were sleeping or while you were away? Like the security of your home, protecting your cyberspace from invasive criminals is just as important. Choose the strongest line of defense with enterprise tools to protect your environment. Choose Centre Technologies. Contact us today.
Want a visual? Let history show you what we mean. ⬇️
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