When we think of cybercrime, we imagine a shady man covered in a hoodie working secretly in a basement hacking all computer systems. However, that is merely a fantasized perception of the harsh reality. Cybercrime is a well-planned, organized, and professional activity performed in plain sight. A few short examples of cybercrime include: buying and selling illegal software and malware or hacking servers that cost billions of dollars to individuals and organizations worldwide.
To be precise, cybercrime is any crime carried out using computers or electronic gadgets with internet services. The wide access of internet connectivity has opened opportunities for hackers to consume information and gain a broader surface area to attack. So, is cybercrime always conducted by an individual? No! The primary aim of cybercrime is to damage computers for profit and it can be done by organizations too. It's good practice to stay up to date on what a cyber attack looks like.
Cybercrime varies according to the intent of individuals or organizations. Below are some of the most common types of cybercrime and their effects:
Phishing - Phishing includes sending spam mail or any other forms of communication that tricks recipients to share their personal information or download unwanted applications. Phishing often occurs online, but can be conducted offline via phone or text. Spear-phishing is another type of campaign that tricks specific targets into putting the individual or organizational security at risk. Such campaigns are crafted to look trustworthy and do not contain any clues to show they are a jest.
Identity Theft - Identity theft is a crime in which the attacker uses fraud to obtain access to personal data. One way to accomplish this is by phishing, which is used to access personal information by sending fraudulent messages and links to sites where victims have to disclose their personal information like usernames and passwords. Pharming is another method that uses malware to redirect users to fake websites where victims pass on their detailed information. A final method is Keylogging, which stores all critical information that you type for cybercriminals to access it. If you connect to an unsecured network in a public space, hackers can steal data by sniffing through internet traffic using a specific tool.
Early in the 1800's when telephones were introduced and technology was growing, cybercrime was on the rise. Then, with the birth of the internet, email, and e-commerce in the last 30 years, cybercrime has reached new heights and cybercriminals have found new ways to trick people for their profit. Therefore, as an internet, mobile and computer user, you are prone to cyberattacks, with the most common platforms being email, social media, and e-commerce sites. It's hard to even contemplate a world without the need of cybersecurity.
Every country has its own set of rules when it comes to punishment for cybercrime. Even today, government and rule making bodies are constantly revisiting cybercrime laws, as cybercrime seems to be evolving with the penetration of internet and other devices into our lives. If you believe you have been a victim of cyber crime, then it is necessary to report the case to relevant authorities and file police complaint. For the U.S., the SACA was recently signed into law. The SACA changes the obligations of companies to report cybercrime as they happen.
For more information on how to protect your business with cybersecurity, visit Why Cybersecurity is Now a Business Essential and learn how to secure what's most at risk.
Since the connectivity in the world is constantly evolving and improving, cybercrime will continue to be a problem as illustrated above. Thankfully, we have tools to handle online threats that have the potential to avoid cybercrimes to an extent. If you are looking for more ways to improve your business's cybersecurity, check out these 5 easy ways to start.
Protect yourself from cybercrime by using an antivirus, password manager, and VPN and cloud backup services. As long as you follow these steps, you are more likely to be safe from such crimes. In Time Tec believes that prevention is better than cure and can help protect your business.