The damaging effects of cybercrime are bound not only to a matter of bad image and corporate reputation, but they also cause significant economic losses to companies and individuals who suffer from this type of incident. In fact, this figure is increasing, according to a report recently released by the information technology consultant Juniper Research, which puts the accent on the increasing professionalization of hacktivism and cyber crooks in general, and on the fact that the financial targets that the evil-doers are set in the digital world are increasingly ambitious.
In particular, in this study “The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial & Corporate Threats & Mitigation” the analysts estimated at $ 2.1 trillion the cost of data breaches globally by 2019, no more and no less than four times more than what is estimated it will cost this year 2015. The increasing digitization of the end users and companies’ assets is one of the elements that is causing being attacked has an increasingly greater economic cost.
More attacks but where?
Interestingly, according to the report, although more and more threats occur through mobile devices (the platform Android, owned by Google, is the most widespread on the market and is in this sense the most attacked. Cyber-attacks are also expected through the so called Internet of things, a concept which refers to the large number of objects connected to the network in the near future (from cars to appliances and many sensors, etc.), it is true that the vast majority of security breaches will occur in existing IT and network infrastructures.
As James Moar an analyst at Juniper Research explained: “Currently, we aren’t seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it’s not profitable”. According to the expert the kind of threats we will see on these devices will be the popular ransomware, a technique that locks down the victims’ devices until they pay a ransom to recover their systems and information.
Even so, we should emphasize that other consulting firms such as IDC consider that we must be vigilant with regard to security breaches produced through the Internet of Things. A recent study by the analysis firm pointed out that, in 2016, nine of every ten technological networks will have suffered a security breach relating precisely to the connected objects.
In terms of the geographical location where the security breaches will take place as predicted by the experts from Juniper, North America is the area coming off worse; in fact, it will suffer 60% of the incidents expected to occur this year 2015. Facing the coming years it will go, however, giving way to other countries which are beginning to emerge with greater wealth and digitization of their societies and economies, and which will also begin to suffer more security attacks of this type.
Another fact to keep in mind: the consultant firm predicts that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 will be over $ 150 million since there will be more and more connected business infrastructure. According to the Spanish National Cryptologic Centre (CCN) 2013 data, cybercrime moves in the world about $ 575.000 million, i.e. an average country’s GDP and more than what drug trafficking produces across the globe. In Spain, according to the same source, around 200.000 incidents occur daily although most of them with a very low intensity.
Cybercrime actors and hacktivists go pro
Another of the highlights of the report is that, according to Juniper, cybercrime is becoming more and more professional. Moreover, already last year the first cybercrime products appeared on the market (yes, software for creating malware). A trend in recent years was that hackers only penetrated the computer systems for the recognition of having accomplished their computer deed, but now they have given way to real cyber-criminals and extortionists.
On the other hand, hacktivists, i.e. those individuals who use illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools to achieve political goals or of another type (web site defacement, redirecting, denial of service attacks, data theft, web site parodies, virtual solutions, virtual sabotages, software development, etc.) will act less during the coming years, according to the consultant, but they will be more significant and better organized through social networks.