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SCARS™ Insight: Cybercrime Is Big Business! A Continuing Series – Part 1
What Drives The Business Of Cybercrime?
Easy access to consumer data, numerous avenues to attack, technology-driven sophisticated tools, and of course the prospect of making easy money continues to fuel the growth of cybercrime
Every day, you get a spam email or message urging you to click a link to update your bank details or run the risk of the account getting closed. Every day, you get messages promising you a fortune left behind by someone who has no inheritor. Every other day, you also get advice from your bank not to fall for such messages, as currently, these are some of the common forms of cybercrime designed to rob you of your hard-earned money and personal details.
Why Such A Spurt In Malicious Cybercrime Activities?
The reason behind a prolific rise in cyber crimes is not hard to guess. Cybercriminals engage in malicious activity for financial gain—at the expense of businesses and consumers. As much as it may appear hard to believe, it is every bit true that cybercriminals make ‘business profits’ now (2019) worth $3.5 trillion a year. According to one study, if cybercriminals were to be a country, it would in the top 30 GDP in the world.
The Drivers Of Cybercrime:
In this digital age, when humans are practically living their lives online, they are also the most vulnerable to digital exploitation. Some of the key drivers of cybercrime include:
- Easy access to data:
As more and more people shop online and engage in numerous online services—music, games, movies, social media, and so on—they are sharing personal details while signing up, logging in or making payments. As a result, there is so much personal data strewn all over the internet that it has become a child’s play to collate all of this data and exploit it at whim. That is why there is a spurt in the incidents of data breaches, as cybercriminals can supplement their databases of verified customer details and use all of the data for identity fraud and many other crimes.
- Ability to make money quickly:
While some cybercriminals engage in criminal activities just to prove their might, more often than not the motive is financial gain. They can make easy money just by selling off the collated data on the dark web or anyone who may be interested—yes, even competing businesses. Digitization and online commerce have opened up a horizon of opportunities and avenues for monetary exploitation. Malware and ransomware have proven to be popular tools among cybercriminals to force organizations into paying up large sums of money in order to continue running their businesses, but never forget that scams are a close second in terms of financial gain.
- Availability of a resource pool:
Cybercriminals have a resource pool available that they can tap into for any ‘support’ they may need to orchestrate and perpetuate a cyberattack. This full-fledged system supports the business of cybercrime and also reaps benefits. For instance, there are businesses that buy stolen data, criminal tool-kits sellers, outsourced human laborers available for mass attacks or to act as a front for criminal gangs, experts who share their ‘expertise’ with amateur wannabes—the list is rather long.
- Technology-driven commoditized tools:
Advancements in technology have provided cybercriminals with commoditized tools which are used to scale the attacks and maximize the financial returns in the shortest possible times. Cybercriminals hide behind the anonymity of the internet and use easily available spoofing tools to hide the device or network identity and wipe off their digital footprints to avoid detection.
Every sector – personal or industry that you look at today is trying to catch up with the machinations of the cybercriminals. It takes time and effort to undo the damage cybercriminals inflict on businesses and consumers. Often, businesses do not even come to know for months that their networks are compromised and that someone is moving around stealing data or planting malware or monitoring everyday activities. Consumers can be played for years in scams and other forms of cybercrime and only discover these crimes after it is too late to stop them.
To effectively fight the evolving cyberthreats, everyone must look to erode the financial gains from these activities. We all can consider smart technology-driven solutions that can help gain better visibility into their networks, secure the endpoints, and authenticate every request in real-time. Consumers need to learn how to survive and thrive in the new threat-rich environment of daily life online.
Just like the gangsters of the 1930s we all need to adapt to this crime-infested world and stop assuming someone else is going to save us from ourselves. We have to become the cyberwarriors that save ourselves, our families and friends, and our businesses, but at the same time not let ourselves be seduced by the frauds claiming to be cybersecurity or scam experts – they are just as bad as the scammers and the cybercriminals – always look for real organizations with real governmental affiliations. Never fall for the “Mob-Rule” of fake or amateur anti-scam groups!
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Cybercrime Is Big Business, Big Cybercriminal Business, Financial Advantage of Cybercrime, Cybercriminals, Professional Cybercriminals, Malicious Cybercrime Activities, Fighting Cybercrimes
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where y