Cybercrime is more prevalent in 2020 than ever. Over four billion records were stolen in the first half of 2019, and, according to a Bromium study, over $1.5 trillion in illicit profits were acquired, laundered, spent, and invested by cybercriminals in 2018.
In addition to increased frequency of cybercrime is the broadening of which companies are targeted with 85 percent of organizations reporting phishing and social engineering attacks in 2019.
Who are the Cyber Criminals? And, what is their goal?
Certain crimes are carried out by financially–motivated individuals, and some are performed by nation-states with political motives, while other groups hack data to push their own ideological agenda.
It appears that your industry dictates the types of cybercriminals, their motivations, and methodologies.
Regarding breaches, it’s your data at risk. Each record compromised carries hundreds of dollars in cost. Knowing your opponent means you can create a better plan of defense, protecting yourself from incurring financial and image costs in the future.
Industry: Financial and Insurance
Seventy-two percent of their breaches are conducted by external parties. These are foreign or domestic groups or individuals acting, mostly, with financial motive. These parties utilize hacking and malware as a means of infiltrating corporations, selling personal information and credentials in bulk on the black market. Their most common form of hacking is web-app attacks, such as SQL injections and cross site scripting, that give these criminals a direct line into financial databases. Depending on the specific types of attacks faced, corporations can utilize defenses ranging from web application firewalls to advanced bot detection.
Healthcare is unique because most breaches are associated with internal actors while every other industry is typically targeted externally. Disgruntled employees who actively target and endanger their employer is one scenario; however, most internal actors don’t have negative intentions in mind.
Employee negligence is usually the cause. Employees don’t follow policies and engage in privilege misuse, use weak passwords, and misplace laptops and external drives. While medical data has special laws to govern their use, distribution, and storage, healthcare data remains the most valuable cost–per–record of any industry on the black market.
Industry: Public Administration
Sixty-six percent of public administration breaches have been espionage. Ninety percent of these attacks are carried out by nation-states. These governments attack targets to promote their political agenda, spread misinformation, and gather funding through nefarious means. Unfortunately, the methodology can be sophisticated as the attacks come with the financial backing of a country. A Mandiant report indicates that a Shanghai hacking group, sponsored by the Chinese army, has captured hundreds of terabytes of data from 141 U.S. companies.
Industry: Manufacturing and High-Tech
While financial gain is the most common motive of hackers targeting the manufacturing and high-tech/software industries, these hackers also use industrial espionage. Competitors phish for credentials and other private data and use this information to steal intellectual property, product plans and trade secrets, or to tarnish a company’s reputation in the marketplace. An interesting case study had two employees of American tech companies Avago and Skyworks steal secrets over a three–year span with the intent of starting their own company in China.
How Is Your Industry Being Targeted for Cybercrime?
Each industry has a unique cybercrime profile. CyLumena can help you perform assessments in any of the cyber security domains and help you get protected. Understanding your industry and its specific and trending threat vectors will ensure that you are allocating precious resources and cybersecurity tools to adequate secure and protect your most valuable assets.
CyLumena can help you create a unique threat profile to identify which cybercriminal types are most likely targeting you.