Cybercriminals thrive on chaos, whether it’s real or perceived. Cybercrime damage costs may double due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, say experts.
Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world, and one of the biggest problems with mankind. The impact on society is reflected in the Official Cybercrime Report, which is published annually by Cybersecurity Ventures, one of the world’s leading researcher and publisher covering the global cyber economy.
According to the report, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.
“Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm,” says Steve Morgan, founder and of Cybersecurity Ventures and Editor-in-Chief at Cybercrime Magazine.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to a massive number of employees globally being sent home to work remotely.
Cybersecurity experts are urging remote workers to beef up their awareness and knowledge of phishing scams, the fastest growing type of cybercrime, many of which are now playing on fears of the Coronavirus.
“Employees from organizations of all sizes and types now have minimal cybersecurity resources, if any, compared to what is normally available to them,” says Morgan. “If remote workers don’t immediately self-educate, and if businesses don’t immediately provide their employees with security awareness training centered on the home office threat, then we could see global cybercrime damage costs as much as double by the end of this year.”
“Cybercriminals thrive on chaos, whether it’s real or perceived,” says Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO at Herjavec Group, and a Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. “Your team will experience an uptick in phishing attacks as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic,” Herjavec advises corporate IT and security teams.
Cybercrime Magazine published an article by Herjavec with 10 tips on how to spot a phishing scam. “Phishing emails almost always want you to click on something, for instance to update your payment details, or access the latest information on COVID-19,” according to Herjavec.
“Businesses have a short window of time to train their remote employees on how to detect and react to phishing scams, and other types of cyber attacks,” says Morgan. “If they act immediately and thoroughly, then cybercrime damage costs can be contained and kept at the current level. It’s much the same as how we respond to the Coronavirus itself – the more we know about it, and the more we do to protect ourselves, the less harm that will be inflicted on society.”
Cybersecurity Ventures’ estimation that cybercrime damage costs could potentially double during the Coronavirus outbreak period is concerned not only with phishing scams, but also with ransomware attacks, insecure remote access to corporate networks, remote workers exposing login credentials and confidential data to family members and visitors to the home, and other threats.