Even as the digital world is growing and developing exponentially in the past few decades, so are cybercrime threats and data breaches. Check out this article on VentureBeat that explains how the cybercrime industry is a parallel economy generating revenues worth $1.5 trillion each year. The data that hackers steal from top-ranking companies makes its way into the dark market earning criminals attractive profits with a slim chance of getting discovered. Experts now talk about the importance of understanding the mindset of hackers, and identifying the incentives that motivate them to indulge in these illegal ways to make money.
Read ahead for information about the main kinds of cybercrime threats and data breaches your company could be vulnerable to.
1. Mining Data from Old Hard Disks
Perhaps the easiest way to hack into a company is to buy their old computers on eBay. Shocking, isn’t it? Despite the extensive coverage given to the threat of information leaks from old hard drives and the importance of wiping drives, companies still end up selling their old equipment without effective data destruction. It will interest you to know that according to the results of research released on ZDNet, forensics have found that more than 40% of the hard drives available for sale on eBay contain sensitive information, company records, customer details, and trade secrets. Cybercriminals only need to buy the hard drives off the internet and gain access to your records. And, sell them on various dark-web markets.
To prevent this from happening to your business, you may want to destroy confidential or sensitive information with All Green Electronics Recycling. Certified data destruction companies like All Green use the protocols laid down by government agencies to ensure that the hard drives in your company devices are shredded into shards to eliminate even the remote possibility of the data being recovered. In this way, they keep you protected from cybercrime threats.
2. Theft of Intellectual Property
You certainly need to protect the data and personal information that your customers, partners, vendors, and other entities share with you. However, safeguarding intellectual property is another vital factor to keep in mind. Hackers getting into your company systems target the trade secrets that are essential for maintaining that crucial edge over the competition. And, this is one of the leading forms of cybercrime threats in recent times.
Like this IPNewsletter released by Amazon explains, patents, copyrights, and other valuable inside information are all targets of data breaches. While you can expect legal protection, keep in mind that the law expects you to take the necessary precautions to prevent the data from getting in the wrong hands. Cybercriminals can sell the information in the dark market and make huge profits from them.
3. Crypto-Jacking – Mining Bitcoins
You should be aware of the latest cybercrime threat that could potentially become bigger than Ransomware – crypto-jacking. Investopedia outlines how hackers working to mine bitcoins need substantial computing capacity. They break into company systems and run programs that make the complex calculations silently in the background without interfering with your operations. All you stand to lose from this form of hacking is computing capacity and in this respect, this cybercrime is low-risk when it comes to losing sensitive customer information. However, you do face the possibility of the diminished speed of operations without realizing the intrusion.
4. Distributed Denial of Service Threats (DDoS)
Sometimes hackers may break into your company’s networks not to steal information, but to disrupt your operations. Any entity that stands to gain from the breaking down of your business may hire a cybercriminal to send large amounts of data and/or data requests to your company’s network or server causing it to crash. As a result, the entire network could become unusable for a time period setting you back by possibly thousands of dollars because of loss of business.
The largest ever of such cybercrime threats took place as recently as in February 2018 when a DDoS was used on GitHub. Wired describes how the DDoS mitigation service, Akamai Prolexic was able to defend the company against the threat by diverting the attack to its “scrubbing centers” to remove the malware packets.
Although the first Ransomware incident first took place in 1989, this cybercrime threat is by no means a thing of the past. Sometime in May 2018, the Ticketfly website faced an attack where hackers demanded a ransom of one bitcoin. When the company owners refused to pay, they found that using vulnerability in their systems, the perpetrators had locked down the servers and posted an image of V for Vendetta on the screens. Next, the intruders proceeded to download spreadsheets and other information of 27 million customer accounts.
Experts in Ransomware advise that it is never advisable to pay up because there is never any assurance that the hackers will refrain from causing damage even after receiving the ransom amount. In case they have already shut down or encrypted your systems, they may not release the decryption code even after receiving the ransom.
The Cybercrime Industry is More Widespread than You Think
In the coming years, you can expect the development of highly sophisticated hacking strategies that may be extremely difficult to detect. Not only it is easy to launder the funds earned by selling stolen files and data, but hackers looking for tools for their activities can download the software from developing companies for a comparatively small cost. For instance, the zero-day Adobe exploit is available for $30,000 while Custom spyware can be easily bought for $200. Hackers are also available for hire for a charge of $200 for a small job.
Before your company becomes the target of any kind of hacking, you may want to take the necessary steps to safeguard your business. Remain informed and up-to-date with the latest information and upgrade your systems regularly with the protective software. Stay safe!