Business of Cybercrime Part 1: With everything turning digital, why not crime as well?

Cybercrime is on the increase as we generate more and more digital data on a daily basis, this is especially the case within organisations. It was found in government reports cybercrime cost the UK economy £27billion pounds where £21billion was cost to businesses. They describe cybercrime as ‘any illegal activity that uses a computer or the internet as its primary means of commission to include any activity that uses a computer as a storage device’; as the Cabinet Office suggest ‘Technology has enable old crimes to be committed in a new and subtle way’.

Typical examples of business cybercrime:-

  • Information Theft
  • Extortion
  • Corporation Identity Theft
  • Reputation Attacks

Data is an organisations key asset and we generate more everyday whether it is from a simple email or the creation of a new contract – data is invaluable and in the wrong hands things can take a nasty turn.

For example: In May 2012 ‘Hackers Blackmail Belgian Bank with Threats to publish their Customer Data’. The company experienced a data breach, where the hackers claimed to have captured login credentials and tables with online loan applications holding details such as full names, job descriptions, contact information and income figures. Hackers demanded payments of around US$197000 and they would not publish the data. According to the hackers the data was stored unprotected and unencrypted on the servers. Luckily for the company, hackers did not follow through with the threat.’ – Source: CIO.com  

This case is classical example of a business being victims of information theft and being extorted for their security vulnerabilities. Would you be able to predict what it would cost the business if a cybercrime incident occurred? What if your IT infrastructure is hacked, data is stolen and the Information Commission Office imposes a hefty fine? What if a hacker decides to ruin your company reputation?

Cybercrime affects different businesses in different ways and it is unpredictable; so, when it comes to cybercrime precautionary measures are necessary in order to decrease the risk of becoming a victim.

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