Cyber crime has become a fast-growing threat and surveys show that companies are not adapting their risk assessments and control frameworks fast enough.
It is crucial that we acknowledge the extent to which this threat can grow. The more connected your business infrastructure gets, the more at-risk your business becomes.
Strategies and Financial Implications
In 2016, personal data breach was one of the top three crime types reported to the bureau; while business email compromise (BEC) was one of the top three crime types by reported loss. The financial loss from cyber crime in the U.S. exceeded $1.3 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $2 Trillion by 2019.
The number of reported security incidents around the world has increased 48% and detected security incidents have jumped to 66% since 2009. Moreover, if we account for the estimated 85% of cyber crimes that are not reported, actual loss in 2016 was likely closer to $9 billion.
Tech Support Scam
One strategy cyber criminals use to target vulnerable businesses is to pose as tech support personnel from recognizable companies. In these instances, criminals trick victims into giving up their login information, giving them access to the victim’s computer.
Once in, they can charge credit cards for fake AV software, install malware, or even look for personal details that can be used in other scams. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 10,000 reports of similar incidents in 2016, resulting in a loss of nearly $8 million.
BEC (CEO Fraud)
As noted earlier, cyber criminals were successful in profiting from BEC scams or CEO Fraud last year. This scam targets businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or that regularly perform wire transfer payments.
Criminals use sophisticated engineering tricks or computer techniques to electronically transfer or intercept funds. Additionally, the more popular method involves a request for a funds transfer by fraudsters posing as a CEO or CFO.
The BEC scam has been evolving over the past few years, changing the strategy a bit. Criminals now target personally identifiable information and wage and tax statement forms for employees. In 2016, the IC3 received more than 12,000 complaints and businesses lost $360 million as a result.
How to Protect Your Business
IC3 continues to educate the public on current scams and new trends, and with the help of media outlets, they hope to encourage victims to file complaints. Despite their efforts, cyber criminal activity continues to rise with the increase in technology.
- Keep your anti-virus software and operating system updated
- Be on the lookout for offers that seem too good to be true
- Know what you are clicking on
- Train employees on new and commonly used cyber crime strategies