2017 is set to break all records where cyber crime is concerned. With 2015 seeing around 43% of SMB’s attacked, 2017 could see the very viability of some companies in high risk areas, such as e-commerce, threatened. It’s a complicated affair, but some basic steps can certainly help reduce the risk, especially as it includes internal threats from a company’s very own employees – representing a growing problem with white collar crime.
So in 2017 one of the best gifts any business owner or responsible IT department head can receive, is the gift of knowledge. Cyber crime thrives for a number of reasons. Among them, basic ignorance and poor communication – and this is where we all can partake to educate and share challenges and solutions across industries.
Cyber crime doesn’t respect borders either. Crimes involving multiple jurisdictions can be extremely difficult to track and prosecute across boarders. Criminals are exploiting this situation more and more. So it’s critical that companies and specialists share their knowledge. One way to do that is through the numerous LinkedIn Groups, like ours for Risk Management.
To help you focus on what information may help those you know or work with and make for that perfect business gift at this time of year, here are our list of top areas for fraud to watch out for in 2017.
1. Data breaches
Given so many high profile data breaches involving customer information, the most recent being the theft of around 1 billion records from Yahoo, locking down access to sensitive customer details should be a top priority for companies. The trend seems to be shifting from stealing credit card information to more general account information (name, date of birth, security questions and password). This general information is likely enough for criminals to access someone’s bank accounts or use it to engage in other criminal activities.
Ransomeware is a major scourge during the past year or two, but will rise in 2017 as more small business fall prey. A recent report from Malwarebytes noted that 40% of business surveyed reported being attacked. The UK was especially targeted with 54% of those surveyed attacked. Not only that but 58% of those companies paid the ransom. For some, it was an extinction level event.
3. Account takeovers
Loosing data is one thing, but when your bank account or other sensitive financial services account is hacked and taken over, it can be a life changing event. This will continue to rise though 2017. Passwords and other sensitive info that could lead to an account takeover are continually sold over the dark web and there’s no end in sight. E-commerce business are particularly vulnerable and risk merchant accounts being suspended or deleted leading to business failure.
4. Payment options and flexibility yield new fraud opportunities
To a degree we are all lazy, especially where paying for things is concerned. As new forms of easy to pay electronic payment systems come to market, such as Apple & Android Pay, and the proliferation of contactless payment systems increases, so too will the opportunities from fraud. Already there are plenty of examples of people wandering round using card skimmers.
5. Intelligent Bot Attacks
As AI grows more sophisticated, the integration of this intelligence into Bot nets will increase. This will make bots harder to differentiate from humans. The shear volume of attacks from such bots will potentially overload fraud detection systems, especially those that use human intervention.
6. Social media, a double-edged sword
Social media is increasingly being used as a form of identity verification and sign-in method; also known as ‘Bring Your Own Identity’. Fraudsters will increase the use of social media to provide surveillance information on potential victims or use hacked accounts to impersonate individuals leading to more substantial financial fraud.
7. The Internet Of Things
Increasing interconnectedness between relatively un-intelligent devices across open or public services yield opportunities for attack and takeovers. Already in 2016 we’ve seen bots use people’s home devices and their internet access to create mass denial of service attacks on institutions and companies. The day will soon be upon us when somebody will report that their refrigerator’s IP was used as means to hack their bank account.
Spread Knowledge and Awareness in 2017
2017 will prove to be another tough year for businesses and the authorities alike, as resources will be further stretched and the boundaries of technologies and understanding pushed to the limit. Helping one another through information sharing and education is critical to maintaining a grasp on evolving threats and ensuring staff and systems don’t fall prey to the more obvious ploys that create the most damage and suffering. Make your gift this holiday season a gift of knowledge!
Cyber Security Information - The gift that keeps on giving
2017 is set to break all records where cyber crime is concerned. With 2015 seeing around 43% of SMB’s attacked, 2017 could see the very viability of some companies in high risk areas, such as e-commerce, threatened. It’s a complicated affair, but some basic steps can certainly help reduce the risk, especially as it includes internal threats from a company’s very own employees - representing a growing problem with white collar crime.
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