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

Cybercrime has become a persistent threat to businesses, governments, and individuals, with an increasing number of incidents reported yearly. A recent report found that a new malware strain is created every 15.3 seconds.  This article will discuss why cybercriminals continue to experience success, the impact of cyberattacks on a business, and how to prevent future attacks.

Cybercrime Pays - Here’s Why

Several limitations persist in today's cyber threat landscape, making it easier for attackers to execute successful attacks, including:

Legacy Solutions

Legacy solutions fall short in their provided security level because this solution is designed to handle something other than modern-day email threats. Email security software often needs more advanced threat protection and detection capabilities and relies on traditional signature-based detection methods that are no longer effective against sophisticated attacks.

Additionally, legacy solutions often need to be improved in detecting and preventing advanced email attacks, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Account Takeover (ATO) attacks. Cybercriminals can gain access to an organization's email platform, making it harder for legacy email security software to notice and stop any attacks.

Email Is Flawed

Email is inherently flawed from a security perspective because it needs non-repudiation, or it is 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, with little risk or effort on their end. In return, the attacked company loses substantial money from the initial loss and 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. Several platforms and tools can help you do this, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools and apps can 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?

Cybercrime has swept through manufacturing, construction, and the food industry as hackers have adapted the technology to launch a malware ransomware attack. Companies need help to retrieve damaged systems from backups.

Threat actors are now focusing on entities that, if disrupted, can impact other businesses and cannot delay operations until the system of the attacked company is restored. Attackers target strategic partners to demand ransom from connected businesses. These incidents are becoming more common in key supply chains, such as oil and fuel, as they can simultaneously significantly impact several key operatives. This means that sophisticated ransomware can bring down multiple companies worldwide 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 hacker to victim, but experts predict that 2023 could bring cyber assaults that leap between smart devices. This includes wearable devices, smartphones, and temperature-control equipment at home.

QR Code Threats Will Increase

A QR code can store information that a smartphone or other machine-readable device can read. 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

The growth of non-password-based primary authentication could end the personal password in 2023. More applications than the operating system will use advanced non-password technologies. These include biometrics to authenticate directly or leverage biometric technology such as Microsoft Hello, Apple FaceID, or TouchID to authorize access.

Cybercrime Trends Expected in 2023 Guardian DigitalDownload

How Can I Prevent Cyberattacks?

Cybercrime's future is still being determined. However, organizations can take steps to prevent becoming the next victim by being prepared for the worst. 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, less lucrative, and more consequential for those who do succeed. Some tips for email phishing prevention and attacks include:

  • 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 criminals looking to gain confidential data or disrupt operations to make a buck. Cybercriminals collaborate to share information on potential targets, create attack tools and strategies, and sell stolen data via dark web marketplaces.
  • Learn from past breaches. Taking lessons from previous breaches is essential to protect your company from becoming 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 an adversary could hack, exposing the company to potential risk. While this usually refers to networked computers or devices, it could include non-networked assets like industrial control systems. Methods like sandboxing malware can help you test drive your company's security and determine what aspects need improvement for a more protected system.
  • Implement comprehensive email threat protection. Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security offers the same high level of protection for small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises. Specialized attacks are on the rise and require special countermeasures. The next generation of cyber threat protection technology should include predictive analysis to identify threats before they reach your systems. This heuristic method uses worldwide resources to analyze messages for unusual patterns using real-time checks.

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 2023.

tmobile news headline

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, 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 25, 2022, via a single Application Programming Interface. The intruder accessed 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. Such hacks demonstrate the value of an email security program that will combat any and all cyberattacks you could face today.

Keep Learning About Cybercrime PreventionProtect against cybercrime

Despite increasing the number and sophistication of cyberattacks, cyber threat protection and prevention are more than possible. The key to protection is implementing defense-in-depth cybersecurity and email security technologies designed to protect against the attacks used against all businesses today.

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