Rapid technological developments and growth provide efficient sources and new opportunities to all business organizations, regardless of size.
The internet is the main component that facilitates the growth of technology. And because the internet has become an important business asset, new technology has come with unprecedented threats, including cybercrime.
What Cybercrime Is
Cybercrime refers to a cybercriminal activity utilizing or targeting smartphones, computers, and other connected devices. Cybercriminals often attack targets using various methods. Some focus on extorting cash from people, whereas others target organizations’ and businesses’ databases. Although wealth is what motivates most cybercriminals, some hackers also pose as political activists to attack corrupt government bodies.
How It Works
Cybercrime activities start whenever there is a motive, opportunity, or access to digital data. Cybercriminals can be anyone from state-sponsored actors to lone users engaging in cyberbullying.
Generally, cybercrimes don’t happen in a vacuum. In different ways, they are often distributed. This means cybercriminals depend on hackers to commit cybercrimes. That can be either state threat actors depending on a technology subcontractor to steal IP (intellectual property), creators of malware through dark webs to sell codes, or distributors of illegal pharmaceuticals using a cryptocurrency broker to hold money in escrow.
Cybercriminals also use different attack vectors to commit crimes and regularly seek new ways to attain their objectives while avoiding arrest and detection.
Cybercriminals often target companies, casinos, banks, and financial firms with diplomatic information and enormous amounts of money running daily.
As a business owner, you require cyber risk monitoring solutions to protect your organization and its data against cybercriminals. That is because the devices you use daily for communication and business operations can be vulnerable to exploitation. Apart from that, other things that may cause cybercrimes in your business are:
- Code complexity
- Financial motivation
- User negligence
- Personal motivation
Effects of Cyber-attacks
In addition, financial losses and cybercrimes may have numerous indirect effects on a business organization, including reduced credit rates, making it difficult to receive loans or raise capital.
Another indirect effect of cyber-attack is the loss of important customer data. This, in turn, may lead to penalties and exposure to legal suits from your clients or employees.
Types of Cybercrimes
As aforementioned, cybercriminals range from criminal organizations and state-sponsored actors to individuals. Like other types of criminals, cybercrimes and their methods vary too. Some of the common ones may include the following:
- Phishing Scams
Most successful cybercrimes start when a sense of urgency, fear, or curiosity entices individuals to click on links or enter personal information.
Phishing emails often mimic messages from businesses you trust or people you know. They aim at tricking individuals into giving up their personal details or clicking on malicious links, which end up downloading malware.
Because thousands of phishing scams are introduced daily, it is best to know how to deal with them. One of the effective HKT Enterprise solutions is to avoid trusting all your emails.
- DDoS Attack
DoS (denial-of-service) aims at disrupting your network service. Attackers can carry out this kind of attack in various ways. However, the most common one is through a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack. It involves attackers sending data or traffic using several machines, which will overload your system.
You may not know that your computer has been hacked, and it will help hackers in many ways. For instance, disrupting services may have ramifications for internet access and security access.
- Social Engineering
Social engineering simply means manipulating people to reveal sensitive or confidential information through digital communication. Usually, social engineering attacks are carried out by exploiting human behaviors and errors to perpetrate cyber-attacks.
Because they leverage human susceptibilities, they can also be referred to as human hacking. For instance, cybercriminals impersonating IT experts will contact you to update your security system or software.
These cybercriminals will build your trust, collect your personal information, and make an attack. Common examples of social engineering include the following:
- Email hacking
- Too good to be true tricks
How to Prevent Cybercrimes
You may think that the only thing you should be worried about is cybercriminals stealing all your financial details. However, it is not that simple. There are more concerns to be worried about other than basic financial matters.
Besides, cybercrimes keep on evolving, with many new threats surfacing yearly. This is why it is important to consider effective cyber risk monitoring solutions, which may involve implementing strategies that can help to keep your business and its data protected.
One of the effective strategies yet often ignored is to keep software and other systems updated. Usually, cybercrimes happen simply because your software or systems are updated, leaving a point of vulnerability.
So what cybercriminals do is exploit such points of weakness to access your network and data. And once they are in, it will be too late to take any preventive action.
In order to counteract this, it will be wise to invest in patch management systems that can manage all your system and software updates, keeping everything up-to-date and resilient.
Another way is through cybersecurity awareness and education. According to experts, this is an effective cybersecurity countermeasure involving empowering your employees to become the first defense against cybercrimes. Your workers shouldn’t hesitate to ask you for advice or help whenever they see something unscrupulous. The earlier your employees report a security threat, the less impact the potential cyber-attack can be.
The best way to make your workers reliable is to educate them. Educating your workers on what to watch out for can improve your business capability to identify cybercrimes early and, in most cases, prevent them. This, in turn, will help your business’s cyber hygiene and ensure your workers keep their personal information secure.
Stopping cybercrimes is the sole responsibility of the bodies or governments dedicated to dealing with cyber criminals. But this doesn’t mean you can’t take the necessary steps to fight against cybercrimes as an individual. Whether you own a small or big business, you can strengthen your cybersecurity systems by educating your workers and keeping software up to date.