Cybercriminals Pocketed Billions In 2018 Through Email And Tech Support Frauds

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Every path-breaking technology has its own side effects, and the internet is no exception. The increasing number of Cyberattacks and the amount lost is quite concerning. Cybercriminals are raking in billions by employing highly sophisticated tactics.

Over the past few years, cybercrime has evolved and spread to a threatening degree. With cyber attacking techniques and people-based attacks always adapting quickly, if not faster than the security measures executed, the world stands on the precipice of a new era of criminal struggle. This year saw reports come in about the increasing threat that cybercrime poses to organizations and businesses. Companies today need to retrofit their security against cyber attacks and deploy digital and manual security tools to avoid information loss.

Cyber Attacks 2019: Cost Factor

According to the latest report by The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) consumer and business, cybercriminals pockets an estimated $2.7 billion in 2018. These stemmed from, extortion, email compromise, tech support fraud and payroll diversion.

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In 2018 alone IC3 received more than 20,000 complaints regarding business email compromise (BEC) and email account compromise (EAC). The combined losses of which stand around $1.2 billion. Another cyber trapping technique, fraudulent tech support cost its victims $39 million. IC3 reports that fraudulent tech support has seen an increase of 161% per year since 2017. With extortion costs increasing by 242% year-over-year, victims lost more than $83 million in 2018.

Another report, titled “Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study” released recently by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, reveals that cybercrime not only takes a lot of time and effort to counter but also is one of the most expensive crimes to resolve for any organisation.

Over the past year, the cost of dealing with cybersecurity breaches for an organisation has increased $1.4 million, bringing up the average to an astounding $13 million. The average number of recorded cyber breaches also rose to 145 in 2018 from 130 in 2017.

Artificle Intelligence: The New Sophisticated Tool

In a fast-paced world full of digital needs, information is everything.

Information theft poses the largest threat to organisations. The most expensive kind of cybercrime, targeting data is rising fast as the go-to method for cybercriminals and is used for extortion and disruption. Other targets include crucial core systems which can be hacked to destroy and disrupt work.

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The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made cyber attacks more sophisticated in 2019. The AI-powered Cyber attacks have the ability of learning, adapting and evolving with time, bypass security measures unnoticed and breach their targets much effectively. Cybercriminals can constantly switch their methods of attacks and break into systems over time. Hackers today are relentless in improving and evolving their methods. They aim for the weakest links in the system, which according to researchers, more often than not tend to be humans and use techniques like phishing and advanced ransomware programs to create a path of entry. According to 2018’s Juniper research report, an estimated 33 billion records in 2023 will be compromised by cybercriminals. Half of which is expected to be in the USA.

With cyber warfare becoming a household term, cybersecurity experts are looking to increase privacy enforcement, vulnerability discovery methods and security assessment services to take on the new challenges of cybercriminals. In this era of digital dependency, it is quintessential for organisations to prepare themselves for the threat of Cybercrime.

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