What’s causing the rise in cyber crime?

Posted on 26/02/2020

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In 2010, 3.8 million cyber breaches were recorded. This number jumped to 3.1 billion in 2016, a dramatic increase in just 6 years. By 2021, it’s predicted that the total cost of cyber crime will reach a staggering $6 trillion worldwide. But why has cyber crime become more of a problem in recent years?

Businesses, essential services and individuals alike face the risk of cyber attacks on a daily basis. Successful attempts have cost the UK billions of pounds, caused endless damage and threatened national security. 

If the consequences of cyber crime continue to worsen as predicted, it will become even more profitable than the global trade of illegal drugs. 


Cyber crime: from then to now

With the fast-changing nature of technology, cyber crime has quickly evolved over the years. Going back a couple of decades, the most common type of cyber attacks involved malicious code, advanced worms and Trojans. Next on the scene were the likes of botnets, DNS attacks and spam sites. 

Fast forward to today and the cyber landscape is more dangerous than ever before, with attacks hitting the headlines including banking malware, cloud jacking, deepfakes, ransomware, PoS attacks and bitcoin wallet thieves – to name a handful. Nobody is immune, individuals and businesses are prime targets for a wide range of attacks. 

In the modern world, we put so much faith in technology as we become increasingly reliant on it to run our businesses, solve problems and produce results on a global scale. From smartphones and IoT devices, to remote working and digital marketing, modern advances continue to benefit the workplace in new ways.


What are IoT devices?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical devices that connect to the internet, all sharing and collecting real-time data for the benefit of humans; they make the world around us more responsive and smarter. These are becoming increasingly popular in the household and a big part of our daily routine, especially in recent years.

The term IoT is used for devices that aren’t generally expected to have an internet connection – which means things like computers, laptops and smartphones aren’t considered IoT devices.

They do however include things like:

  • Smart watches and fit bits
  • Smart home devices such as Alexa, Google Home and Siri
  • Smart illumination solutions such as colour changing lightbulbs
  • Home sensor devices such as thermostats
  • Sat navs and GPS systems
  • Medical devices such as scanners
  • Kitchen appliances such as smart fridges

With new developments in technology, the rise in IoTs, and criminal hackers becoming better equipped to carry out cyber attacks, it’s easy to see why the number of incidents is increasing at such a rapid rate. 

As the world becomes more connected through advanced technology and the growing number of IoT devices we incorporate into our everyday lives, the opportunities for malicious profit or gain through cyberattacks is also increasing – and causing more of an impact than we first thought.


What is causing the rise in cyber crime?

In the past few years, the number of cyber attacks has rapidly increased to a point where cyber security protection is now vital for every piece of technology with an internet connection, including IoT devices, computer systems, and smartphones. 

Every day, more and more of our vital infrastructure is moving online and the risks of cyber attacks, breaches and leaks of information worsen. In 2018, the estimated number of devices that connect to the internet was around 17 billion, and this number is expected to reach 50 billion in the next year.

Hacking tools for computer programs, cloud systems and IoTs are now readily available on the dark web, making it easier for cyber criminals to hack into our devices. With kits such as these widely accessible, there’s an increasing threat from amateur and advanced cyber criminals who are looking to exploit unsuspecting victims in this way. 

This danger is amplified with the lack of skilled cyber security professionals tackling the threats posed, as people with the high level of technical knowledge can make more profitable gain by working with hackers, instead of against them. 

Although the overarching objective is usually monetary gain, cyber crime has become the modern form of warfare as countries seek to attack infrastructure as a way to cause widespread damage.


How to keep up with the increasing threat of cyber crime

It is essential that every business takes steps to protect their systems, data and clients from the impacts of cyber crime. 

Keeping up with the new developments in cyber security and handling current risks in-house can be a challenge for any business or individual. The best solution for advanced protection against both internal and external threats is to partner with an experienced Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), such as Air Sec.

Find out how to protect your business with Air Sec’s secure and resilient cyber security services by getting in touch with our team.

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