Cybercrime or Internet crime refers to criminal activities that target computers, computer networks or networked devices. So basically all illegal activities that relate to digital data or accounts. These take place online and are accordingly only as secure as the user has set them up to be. Cybercrime can affect both private individuals and companies. The consequences can be severe in both cases.
When people hear the word hacker, they often picture a lone guy staring at a screen through unpolished glasses and typing code on a keyboard. The reality, however, is far from that. Cybercrime is a professional business these days.
It is now offered like a service. As regularly as new security methods are developed, they are breached.
The password is the best example. Where a few years ago a somewhat inconsistent sequence of numbers was sufficient, today complex sequences of numbers and letters have to be used to offer real protection online.
In a way, today’s digitalization is both a blessing and a curse. It makes many things easier for us. But it also makes us more vulnerable. A hacker attack can paralyze entire companies or institutions. The damage can be immense. And cybercriminals deliberately choose methods and victims that are connected.
Technological advances and societal changes are constantly providing new approaches to launch attacks.
Take, for example, the increasing emergence of hybrid work models. These offer new opportunities for cybercriminal attacks through new security vulnerabilities. There is often less protection in the home office than in the enterprise. Sometimes there is no protection at all.
Employees are often not trained or even made aware of how important data protection is. What they neglect with their private data, they also neglect with internal company data. Easy targets for cybercrime.
The consequences of a simple hack can be severe. It is not uncommon for an attack on a company to directly affect its entire environment. Customers, suppliers, employees, external service providers – they are all represented with their data somewhere in the company data. A successful attack can therefore directly enable further attacks.
This is the well-known phishing of data. What many only know from the private sphere through spam e-mails also occurs frequently in companies. One would think that this form of cybercrime would no longer be so successful, but the opposite is the case. In 2021, there was even a new record of successful phishing attacks on companies.
An evolution of this is vishing, which uses the latest technologies such as AIs and deepfakes to deceive individuals into obtaining data. The evolution and ingenuity of cyberattacks knows no bounds.
This makes it all the more important to secure data and access points properly. For example, with 2-factor authentication using an authenticator such as the one from REINER SCT.
Cybercrime is on the rise and becoming more and more professional. One could almost speak of organized crime. New technology and advanced methods make it difficult to ensure constant IT security. This can only be achieved by securing data and access points several times over. With simple security methods, there is no longer any security against cyber attacks and the consequences can be devastating.