What is Cybercrime and how to control it?

Cybercrimes are the criminal activities that are carried out by using computers. Computers are either used to create crime or in some cases computers are the targets. Cybercriminal activities are carried out by individuals or small groups with high technical skills and expertise.

Microsoft has found that, the global potential cost of cyber-crime is around $500 bn, and data breach costs about $3.8 million on an average to the company. Spend for Cyber security will grow from $86.4 billion in 2017 to $93 billion in 2018. Cybercrime damage costs to hit $6 trillion by 2021 annually.

After ransomware global systems attack to phishing and scanning, in India for the 1st half of 2017 atleast 1 cybercrime is reported every 10 minutes. Around 230,000 new malware samples are produced every day.

Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access to personal information and business trade secrets. They can also use computers for communication and document or data storage. They are constantly using new techniques and methods for achieving their goals.

Cyber-attacks have become more and more specialized targeting specific organizations and individuals. Even the patterns in which they attack have become more directed. The impact of cyber-attacks have made damages spanning financial losses, loss of shareholder value and trust.

Various methods through which cybercriminals attack are –

  • Phishing – Using fake email messages to collect personal information from internet users
  • Hacking – Misusing or accessing someone’s computer without their permission using technology
  • Cyber Stalking – It basically means stalking someone virtually by following their online activities
  • Identity theft and credit card frauds – Identity theft is when someone steals your identity and pretends to be you to access your resources like credit cards, bank accounts and other
  • Virus dissemination – Viruses are programs which infect a system or files and they also have the tendency to enter or circulate to other computers on the network
  • Software piracy – Internet and different websites like torrents, where you can find almost all movies or songs or software, are examples of software piracy which is illegal
  • Internet fraud – Another form of cybercrime where you receive emails like “you have won a 10 million lottery” or “you have been selected for a free trip”.

Reports have revealed several concerns that almost two-third of the law agencies feel that there are not adequate laws, to address matters related to cybercrime prevention, detection, and investigation. According to data from Juniper Research, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020. By 2019, cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion – a four-fold increase from 2015.

Few common tips or practices to combat the threats-

  • Education and Cyber Security Awareness within family members or colleagues
  • Collect security logs and analyze for suspicious or abnormal activities
  • Keep systems and applications patched and up to date and use updated anti-viruses or firewalls
  • Avoid shopping on unsecured sites or disclosing your credit/debit card details while making a transaction
  • Use strong passwords with special characters and keep privileged accounts protected
  • Do not install or execute unapproved or untrusted applications
  • Do not disclose personal information publicly on any unsecured website
  • Make sure you are not clicking on any random link as it might be a virus

Cyber security is one of the top challenges that is being faced by many organizations.                The companies have either undergone or are undergoing digital transformation changes. They need to ensure that the risk due to cyber exposure is managed well.

No one can deny the positive role of the cyber world today in all aspects of life. But every technology has its pros and cons. Cybercrimes have taken over the technology to their advantage. Yet, if taken the right measures it can be controlled.

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