The Biggest Cybercrime Threats of 2019

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The biggest cybercrime threats of 2019 have already been identified. Despite the fact that this is a new year, most of the threats from last year are still here with us. There is even a possibility of things getting worse than they were in 2018. The reason why cybercrime continues to grow is because it does not get much attention in international law because it is non-violent in nature. Cybercrime is however far from harmless as it poses a major threat to companies. It is estimated that cybercrime will cost $6 trillion per year by 2021 according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures.

Ransomware

According to Virsec, the threat of ransomware is steadily growing. Ransomware can easily lock a user or an organization out of a computer network. This type of cybercrime is not going away anytime soon and targets a large percentage of society’s middle classes. It will continue to exist as long as there are still underprotected systems that have data that has not been backed up adequately. The threat is continuously being used. Red herrings distract from other attacks on critical infrastructure. This threat is dangerous because it will block users from accessing data. The internet of things has certainly created a brave new world for hackers to lock users out of. The only precautionary measures that businesses can take is to secure their web applications using the same controls that are being deployed for other markets like user authentication and secure user onboarding.

Cryptocurrency

We can safely conclude that cryptocurrency cybercrime in 2018 did not play as big a role as had been anticipated. As much as the crime rate did not experience a dramatic rise, it was the year that cryptocurrency became a key tool in many of the ransomware schemes, such as the threat of personal data being released online. The only choice the owners are left with is to comply with the hackers. The emergence of digital currencies offer a less traceable way for criminals to make money. Cryptocurrencies are the main exchange medium used by cybercriminals, so there is rampant use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities. The criminals control computer networks to take on the computer processing. They tie the computer to nefarious threats that direct users to illicit websites which run JavaScript on a webpage. This will then turn a user computer into a remote miner.

Digital Ad Fraud

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Very few people are aware of the existence of this type of crime and yet it affects a significantly large number of people each year. This cybercrime makes it difficult for online content publishers to make money. Advertisers lose an estimated $19 billion to fraud every year – that is equivalent to $51 million each day. It is even worse that ad fraud might reach $44 billion by the year 2022. Not only does this crime affect videos, it also affects newspaper publishers and every other online content provider. There are several cases of hijacked advertisements that redirect internet users to phishing pop-ups that enable criminals to steal credit card and identity details. The criminals present themselves as legitimate advertisers using compromised sites to propagate phishing scams.

Phishers

Phishing has existed for many years and it is not going to end anytime soon as long as it works. More organizations are likely to be targeted in 2019. The reason why phishing will still be prevalent is simply because it is cheap and effective as long as people continue to receive and read emails. Internet users should therefore be careful not to download applications from untrusted sources.

Cloud protection

The latest trend in technology is the movement of data to cloud-based storage and services. This has directed cybercriminals to the cloud too. Many companies have the misconception that simply because their data is offsite it is secure, but this remains unwarranted. One should be very careful when choosing a cloud provider and check on their track record and the level of security that they provide. The question is if enough measures have been taken to keep the data in the cloud secure. The fact that traditional security tools are not able to detect cloud attacks should be a matter of great concern to us all. That is it.

 

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