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December 15, 2020 | By stephen
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What Is The Actual Cost Of Cyberattacks And Cybercrime?

How vulnerable is your company to a cyberattack? A cyberattack can cost your business millions in downtime and lost productivity. According to the ‘Evil Internet Minute’ report released by RiskIQ, by 2021, cybercrime will cost the globe an average of 11.4 million U.S. dollars per minute.1

This predicted increase in cybercrime is fueled by the phishing opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought and the increasing ease of entry into cybercrime. The report also revealed that cybercrime costs companies 24.7 million U.S. dollars per minute and predicts that this rate will increase year-over-year by more than 2 U.S. dollars every minute.

What Is The Impact Of The Pandemic On Cybercrime?

VMware conducted a survey to find out what impact COVID-19 had on the cyber-attack landscape.2 The survey involved more than 1000 respondents from Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Italy. The survey reported that 88% of U.S. cybersecurity professionals said attack volumes have increased as more employees work remotely. 89% said their organizations had experienced cyberattacks linked to COVID-19 malware.

Researchers from NormShield looked for websites using the names of the ten commonly used drugs over the last several months.3 They found a dramatic spike in the number of websites generated to get the attention of anxious shoppers looking for a coronavirus vaccine. According to research by McAfee, the United States ranks first among countries with malicious detections.4 They also reported that the managed services and IT support industry is the most affected industry, and trojans are the most popular type of malware used in cyberattacks.

The First Quarter Of 2020 Saw An Increase Of 25% In Ransomware Attacks

Specialist insurer Beazley reported an increase of 25% in ransomware attacks in the United States during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the last quarter of 2019.5 Industries mainly affected by the cyberattacks were the healthcare sector, the manufacturing sector, and financial institutions.6 The report revealed that the increase in cybercrime at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was attributed to the American population’s reduced cybersecurity vigilance due to the health situation’s anxiety.

With the current health situation, cyberattacks are designed to lure a population that is overwhelmed with pandemic fatigue and anxious about a COVID-19 vaccine that is in sight.

Examples of these cyberattacks include:

  1. Phishing emails announcing a COVD-19 vaccine.
  2. Reference links to websites that are infected with malware.
  3. Fake landing pages allegedly showing the latest Coronavirus infection rates.

As the cases of cyber-attacks continue to rise, it is no longer a matter of if your company will be attacked, but when.

Cyberattacks have had devastating effects on businesses such as:

  • Disruption and seizing of business.
  • A damaged business reputation leading to loss of clients and decreased sales and profits.
  • Lawsuits from affected clients.

With all this in mind, how exactly do you ensure that your company’s network is protected?

How Can You Enhance Your Organization’s Cybersecurity?

It is far less expensive to prevent a cyber-attack than it is to recover from one. It may take you months or even years to fully recover from cyberattacks. Your Information Technology infrastructure is very vital to your day to day business operations.

It’s critical to ensure that it is adequately protected against attacks. With hackers coming up with new and more sophisticated ways to access your data, companies are being forced to implement systems to prevent these attacks.

The following are cybersecurity controls that you should implement to enhance your cybersecurity:

  1. Installation of security software such as antivirus programs on your computers and systems to detect and remove malicious programs.
  2. Implement robust user authentication processes such as complex passwords, two factor and multi-factor authentication methods, and biometric authentication.
  3. Enable email spam filtering to filter out incoming emails for phishing content and automatically move them to a separate folder.
  4. Secure mobile devices used by employees through encryption, password protection, and enabling the ‘remote wiping’ option:
  5. Implement firewalls to establish a barrier between your internal network and incoming traffic from external sources to block malicious traffic.
  6. Implement cybersecurity awareness training programs to train your employees on what to look out for to distinguish phishing emails.

About LeadingIT

LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.

Sources:

1https://www.riskiq.com/resources/infographic/evil-internet-minute-2020/

2https://ir.vmware.com/websites/vmware/English/2120/us-press-release.html?airportNewsID=85da6289-ab5e-40e2-86f7-d2b731b0dc93

3https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/04/10/covid-19-fears/

4https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/lp/covid-19-dashboard.html

5https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/09/2045639/0/en/Beazley-Breach-Insight-Ransomware-rises-25-in-Q1-2020.html

6https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/oct/28/us-healthcare-system-cyber-attacks-fbi

https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/93195-report-shows-114m-lost-globally-every-minute-to-cybercrime

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ng/Documents/risk/ng-COVID-19-Impact-on-Cybersecurity-24032020.pdf

https://think.taylorandfrancis.com/special_issues/covid-19-cybersecurity/

https://www.brosix.com/blog/challenges-of-telecommuting/

https://www.ey.com/en_be/covid-19/why-remote-working-will-be-the-new-normal-even-after-covid-19

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