Why Cybercrime Continues to Thrive, And What You Can Do About It

Cybercrime is a big business that affects organizations in all industries on an international scale. A recent report found that a new malware strain is created every 15.3 seconds.

Cybercrime has become a persistent threat to businesses, governments, and individuals, with an increasing number of incidents reported every year. Despite efforts to combat it, cybercrime continues to thrive. This article will discuss why cybercriminals continue to experience success, the impact of cyberattacks on a business, and what you can do to prevent attacks from plaguing your business.

Cybercrime Pays - Here’s Why

In today's cyber threat landscape, several limitations persist, which make it easier for attackers to execute successful attacks. These limitations include:

Legacy Solutions

One of the primary reasons legacy solutions are limited in the level of security they provide is that legacy technology is not designed to handle modern-day email threats. Legacy email security solutions often lack advanced threat detection capabilities and rely on traditional signature-based detection methods that are no longer effective against sophisticated attacks.

Additionally, legacy solutions are often limited in their ability to detect and prevent advanced email attacks, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Account Takeover (ATO) attacks. Attackers can gain access to an organization's email platform, making it harder for legacy email security solutions to detect and prevent such attacks.

Email Is Flawed

Email is inherently flawed from a security perspective because it lacks non-repudiation, meaning that it's difficult to verify the authenticity of the sender or the message content. Moreover, email vulnerabilities allow hackers to send malicious emails and use them as entry points to run malicious code under the email process access, making it a primary target for cyberattacks.

Cybercrime Continues to Pay

Cybercriminals are continuing to attack companies because they have been successful in netting potentially hundreds and thousands of dollars from them. This is a significant advantage over other forms of crime, and often involves little risk and effort. Additionally, the company's cost is not just the initial loss, but also the additional costs associated with reporting, containing, and remediating the breach.

Executing Attacks is Faster, Easier, and Cheaper Than Ever

Attackers use automation and other off-the-shelf software to launch attacks and process the data they steal. Executing attacks is now easier and more affordable than ever even without technical skills; it's as simple as building a website. There are several platforms and tools that can help you do this and open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools and apps can be used to obtain precise information about someone's location, social media, and work email address. This makes it impossible to identify and manipulate targets.

Who Is At Risk?

why cybercrime continues to thriveCybercrime has swept through manufacturing, construction, as well as the food industry, as hackers have adapted the technology used to launch a ransomware attack. Companies find it harder to retrieve damaged systems from backups.

Threat actors are now focusing on entities that, if they are disrupted, can impact other businesses that cannot delay operations until the system of the attacked company is restored. Attackers target strategic partners in order to demand ransom from connected businesses. These incidents are becoming more common in key supply chains, such as oil and fuel, as they can have a significant impact on several key operatives simultaneously. This means that sophisticated ransomware can bring down multiple companies around the world because it targets organizations with 'maximum impact'.

Trends Expected in 2023

Cybercrime trends are constantly evolving, and 2023 is expected to bring new threats such as:

Cyberattacks Spread Via Smart Devices

Cybercriminals are targeting smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as they are the most vulnerable entry points into any business or home security network. Cyberattacks move from the hacker to victim, but experts predict that 2023 could bring cyber assaults that leap between smart devices. This includes wearable devices and smartphones, as well as temperature-control equipment at home.

QR Code Threats Will Increase

A QR code can be used to store information that can be read by a smartphone or other machine-readable device. It works in the same way as a digital business card, but usually contains details like your phone number, email address, and home address. Scanning a compromised QR code could send your location coordinates and redirect you to malicious websites.

No More Personal Passwords

Experts believe that the growth of non-password-based primary authentication could spell the end to the personal password in 2023. Advanced non-password technologies will be used by more applications than the operating system. These include biometrics to either authenticate directly or to leverage biometric technology such as Microsoft Hello, Apple FaceID, or TouchID, to authorize access.

How to Prevent Cyberattacks

Cybercrime's future is uncertain. However, organizations can take steps to Protect against cybercrimeprevent becoming the next victim by being prepared for the worst. Some tips to prevent attacks include:

  • It is possible to get ahead of criminals. However, it takes knowledge and effort. Criminals can be made to fail by making their attacks more costly and less lucrative, and imposing consequences for those who do succeed.
  • Understand the cybercrime underground. The cybercrime underground is a constantly-evolving ecosystem of malicious actors looking to exploit weaknesses in networks and systems. This underground is home to hackers, malware authors, and other criminals looking for ways to gain confidential data or disrupt operations in order to make a buck. Cybercriminals collaborate to share information on potential targets, create tools and strategies for attacks, and even sell stolen data via dark web marketplaces.
  • Learn from past breaches. It is important to take lessons from previous breaches to protect your company from being the next victim. Understanding how attacks have been carried out can help you identify potential vulnerabilities in your organization. Learn about the various types of malware and hacking tools used by criminals.
  • Find out what makes up your attack surface. This refers to the entire company's digital assets and infrastructure that could potentially be hacked by an adversary. This can expose the company to potential risk. While this usually refers to networked computers or devices, it could also include non-networked assets like industrial control systems.
  • Implement multi-layered threat protection. Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security offers the same high-level protection for small and medium-sized businesses as it does for large, global enterprises. Specialized attacks are on the rise and require special countermeasures. The next generation of threat protection technology should include predictive analysis to identify threats before they reach your systems, a heuristic method that analyzes every message for unusual patterns, and real-time checks using resources from other systems around the world.

The T-Mobile Hack: A Wake-Up Call for Business Security

A malicious actor stole personal information from approximately 37 million T-Mobile customers in a November data breach, the company said in January.

tmobile news headlineIn a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, T-Mobile said the hack was discovered on January 5th. According to the company, the party responsible for the attack obtained data beginning around November 25th via a single Application Programming Interface. The intruder gained access to a "limited number of customer account data", including names, addresses, email addresses, and birth dates. 

According to T-Mobile, "Customer accounts and finances were not put at risk directly by this event… No credit card information, passwords, Social Security numbers, government ID numbers, or other financial account information was exposed in the breach.”

After the breach was discovered, T-Mobile said it "promptly commenced an investigation with external cybersecurity experts" and was "able to trace the source of the malicious activity and stop it" within a day.

Keep Learning About Cybercrime Prevention

Despite the increase both in number and in the sophistication of cyberattacks, prevention is more than possible. The key to protection is implementing comprehensive, adaptive cybersecurity technology designed to protect against the types of attacks used against all businesses today.

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