Introduction

Let us dive into types of cybercrimes. According to an assessment done in 2019, a well-known cybersecurity firm estimates the cost of cybercrime worldwide will be $6 trillion by 2021. Government Agencies, businesses in healthcare services, energy services, financial institutions, banks, among others are most prone to cyber-attacks, yet these organizations are more often than not caught on the back foot when it comes to cybersecurity preparedness.  

Many countries don’t even have a dedicated cybersecurity law leaving a lot of grey areas in the prosecution of such cases giving a further fillip to offenders. With the world moving to a more digital world, the crime scene is expanding into this realm evermore every day.  There is no denying that this will be one of the primary areas that governments and firms will invest in terms of security in the coming decade.

  1. What is Cybercrime?
  2. Types of Cybercrime

1. What is Cybercrime?

With that quick introduction to the impact of cybercrime out of the way, let’s just define the term itself. So what constitutes cybercrime? A very simple definition from the Oxford dictionary is, ‘criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet’. Cybercrime is any criminal activity that put another party’s personal information, social standing, money, and virtual presence in jeopardy while the criminals themselves stand to gain either monetarily or otherwise. The other party, in this case, can be an individual, a group of individuals, an institution or firm, a government agency, or a business of global repute.

Ever wondered what types of cybercrime areprevalent today? Let’s get deeper into this realm. Broadly there are a few common forms of cybercrime from a government of state perspective they are as below.

  • Phishing
  • Identity Theft
  • Hacking
  • Spreading hate or inciting violence
  • Distributing child pornography
  • Grooming.

2. Types of Cybercrime

We shall delve into the types of cybercrimes that a firm with a digital presence, has to face in these hi-tech times. The first three in the above list make most of the kinds of such threats. Cybercrimes from a firm or organization perspective can be classified into the below types,

  • Cyber theft of Intellectual Property

The stealing of copyrights, patented technology, and trade secrets is one of the most dreaded cybercrimes that an organization is wary of. 

  • Phishing 

Phishing, which is the most widespread of all attacks is the attempt to obtain personal or sensitive information by fraudulent means, generally by disguising as a trustworthy website or digital communication. Corporates generally have an onsite firewall against most such external sites, but with more and more employees working remotely and bringing their own devices to the network under the BYOD setup, the risks reach significant levels. Corporates are under constant pressure to ensure all the employees under training which helps them identify such threats quickly and report to IT. 

  • Social Engineering 

A type of cybercrime involving very less technical skills, and more social skills. Relying mostly on human interaction, convincing people with legitimate access to any system of value into bypassing security protocols and practices. When successful, attackers gain access to confidential information. 

  • Malware

Malware is anything from virus, trojan, worms among others that are designed to gain access first and then launch an attack on the infected system while also possibly gaining access to sensitive information.

  • Ransomware

Although classified under malware, it holds its own place due to its growing incidents and severity of such incidents. So ransomware is exactly what it sounds, it takes the data that you hold closest to your heart, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom to decrypt it. Payment is usually demanded in bitcoin. 

  • Botnets

Botnets are basically random computers connected together by a common malware and commanded by a remote central command center to initiate various types of attacks like DDoS, crypto mining, click fraud among others.

  • Identity Theft

It is a way to gain access to secured and authorized content by either stealing credentials or digitally impersonating the authority to gain access and then orchestrate actions in those credentials that result in loss of data or intellectual property.

  • DDoS or Flood attacks

Orchestrating massive amounts of incoming traffic into a target serve so legitimate requests are flooded and are not served in the required time, making the website slow.

  • Browser Hijacking 

Primarily using client-side scripting running on browsers resulting in session hijacking, drive-by downloads among other unauthorized activities without the user’s consent.

Now, what are the most frequently committed cybercrimes on record? According to Statista, the top few cybercrimes committed include, 

  • Phishing and its various forms like Vishing, Smishing, and Pharming. 
  • Non-payment/Non-delivery
  • Extortion
  • Personal Data Breach
  • Spoofing.
  • Business Email Account compromise or Email Account compromise.
  • Identity Theft

The above list in no way reduces the risks of other types of cybercrimes. A business should always be on the alert against any cybercrime, the higher the value of the digital property the higher the risk and bigger the steps taken towards mitigation of these risks.

So what might businesses want to do to mitigate these risks, and keep the business running smoothly?  

The first and foremost step taken by a business towards mitigation of cybercrime risks is Education. 

Active investment in protection software that ring-fences both your hardware and digital assets is a crucial step towards successful mitigation of the risks posed by cybercrime. The cybercrime domain is a quickly evolving one, with new vulnerabilities uncovered every now and then and thereby hacking methods to take advantage of these vulnerabilities. It is crucial for the business to keep the security software updated to the latest version on all systems 

Investment in the IT security workforce is the second line of defense. You could either build your own team or outsource this to specialist firms who with their varied and vast experience in this domain are most likely to defend you well against any cybercrime attack.

The endpoint users of a business are the first line of defense against an impending attack. Your workforce should be made aware of what they should be careful o f when it comes to the businesses’ digital property. 

Regular and automated IT compliance checks of end points is also a necessary step in securing the fence. 

The role of Ethical Hackers cannot be ruled out in mitigation planning. Businesses might want to hire a top talent in Ethical hacking to be a step or two ahead of the cybercrime perpetrators.

Finally and most importantly physical security of the assets will have to be handed over to trusted players in the industry, so standards and best practices are followed leaving little or no opportunity for exploitation.

There are several industry-recognized regulations that businesses have to comply with ensuring the protection of sensitive personally identifiable information that can be hacked into by cybercrime perpetrators.

One such regulation is the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The regulation mandates that companies that are in the business of handling and processing protected health Information (PHI) must have a physical, network, and process security measures that satisfactorily protect such data.

One solution that plugs most of the gaps in security is Cloud Computing. There are reputed Clouds Computing businesses that have a proven track record of secure computing services on the cloud while being independently audited for compliance with various industry-relevant regulations. 

Conclusion

So there you have it, tackling cybercrime needs special attention from businesses and not just a passing mention in their long term strategies. Stay protected, stay in business.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

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