Cybercrime has evolved as quickly as the Internet technology it relies on. No longer is this dark phenomenon limited to basement opportunists. These days, the 'cybercriminal' is professional.
From financial crime and corporate espionage to state-sponsored terrorism, the Web enables all manner of malicious activity.
And it costs. The annual global impact of cybercrime could be as high as $575 billion, according to a 2014 report by McAfee.
Enterprises are prime targets of cybercrime. That’s borne out by recent high-profile attacks against companies such as Sony Pictures, Target, JP Morgan Chase, and the health insurance provider Anthem.
Criminals have stolen tens of millions of credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and checking and savings account information.
Yet executives in small and medium businesses may assume that because they aren’t in the Fortune 1,000, they won’t attract the attention of professional cybercriminals. This is a dangerous mistake.
No organization, regardless of its size, can ignore the stark reality of today’s interconnected world. If you have intellectual property, customer data, or even online resources that can be exploited by attackers to use against other targets, you’re at risk.
In a 2011 report, the British government warned: "The most seriously affected businesses are from sectors not traditionally viewed as targets of cyberattacks. And, although the Government continues to focus on protecting the Critical National Infrastructure, companies in IP-rich industries are at a particular risk from cyber crime."
For small and medium enterprises struggling with security, Ian Trump, Security Lead for LogicNow has this advice:
"Security is about People, Process and Technology. Educate your employees about cyber security risks, develop and implement processes to thwart the bad guys."
"Lastly, businesses can take solace in this statistic from James Lewis of CSIS: ‘75% of attacks use publicly known vulnerabilities in commercial software that could be prevented by regular patching’. If you want a quick win for SMEs, start with patching all your things."
It's no longer acceptable for businesses to play the victim when cybercrime strikes. Partners, shareholders and, above all, the public expect so much more. Those who fail to realize this risk more than just financial loss.
To hear from Ian Trump as he explore the threat landscape and mitigation of cybercrime, please join us at Interop London this June. Find out more here.Sean McGrath is a freelance IT writer, researcher, and journalist. He has written for PC Pro, the BBC, and TechWeekEurope, and has produced content for a range of private organizations. Although he holds a first class degree in investigative journalism, his dreams of being a ... View Full Bio