Combating Cyber Crime: Statistics

In this modern, interconnected world, cybercrime is at an all-time high and getting worse all the time. Shockingly, more than 230,000 malware versions appear every day. Every 39 seconds a hacker attacks. One in three Americans are victims of cyber-attacks each year.

The convenience of all this connectivity and access to internet resources is something most people take for granted but with it comes the real danger of loss. The threat is not just to personal assets but more substantial national infrastructure and corporate financial networks as well. Cybercrime affects us all.

By next year the cost of a single data breach will exceed $150 million. For this year alone, data breaches will cost Americans $2 trillion. More than 3,809,448 records are stolen each year in cybercrimes.

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How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks

Most of us enjoy the convenience of purchasing online and one-click access to everything from buying paper towels on Amazon to renting a movie. However, this ease and digital streamlining also pose risks to our credit cards and bank records. How safe are we really?

The danger is real and imminent, and it’s critical for people to know how to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

Before a Cyber Attack

Be sure to monitor your credit card statements regularly; look for anything not authorized by you. Sign up for real-time alerts with bank accounts and credit cards so that any time a purchase is made, you will know about it and can block any fraudulent charges.

Don’t give out personal information on the phone or online. Use common sense when providing things like your address, social security number or bank account information. Change your account passwords often, at least once a month to keep hackers at bay.

If you are a business, you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Identify critical assets and secure them with proper software, hardware, firewalls and security measures.

During a Cyber Attack

If you are aware that an attack is occurring on your computer, mobile device or server take action quickly. Immediately disconnect it from the internet. This action will sever the connection between you and your attacker.

Assess the situation and determine what was affected. Get your backups ready to restore files that have been infected. You may have to contact your ISP to block the hacker.

Do not use any compromised assets to email or access files.


After a Cyber Attack

You may want to call a professional to access the damage and clean up any viruses or malware that was installed.

If you are a business entity, notify the authorities that you were hacked and report the damage to The Department of Homeland Security.

Continue to monitor all systems and servers. Install additional security measures and beef up firewall protection. Constant monitoring is your best defense in these situations so you can take quick action.

U.S. Secret Service

One division of the Department of Homeland Security is the U.S. Secret Service, which includes an Electronic Crimes Task Forces, that is used to locate and apprehend international cybercriminals who target banks and other large institutions. According to the Department of Homeland Security “The Secret Service’s Cyber Intelligence Section has directly contributed to the arrest of transnational cyber criminals responsible for the theft of hundreds of millions of credit card numbers and the loss of approximately $600 million to financial and retail institutions. The Secret Service also runs the National Computer Forensic Institute, which provides law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges with cyber training and information to combat cybercrime.”

Law Enforcement Cyber Incident Reporting

If you or your business gets hacked, it is essential to take proper steps to report it so that the perpetrators can be pursued by law enforcement. In most cases, you can report it to local police.

If, however, your business is large, and the data breach affects a substantial number of customers or clients, then you will need to bring it to the attention of the FBI. If the attack affects national security, public safety, economic security or a massive data loss, then again you will want to contact the FBI and report it.

When reporting you will need to provide as much information as possible and the FBI may need access to your network and equipment to gather additional forensic evidence to pursue the criminals responsible. The FBI’s website has links where you can report cybercrime and even a phone number to use to call them.

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The statistics on cyber-attacks are alarming, and the threat grows more each day. If you thought you, your business and your data were safe, these statistics below are a good wake up call.

  • More than 1, 244 data breaches occurred during 2018.
  • For 2018, 446,052 million records were breached.
  • More than 3 billion data records were breached on Yahoo.
  • Only 39% of Americans think the federal government is well-equipped to protect the country against cybercrime.
  • 43% of cybercriminals attack small businesses.
  • Over 75% of healthcare companies have been victims of malware over the past year.
  • Large-scale DDoS attacks have increased by 500%.
  • More than 300,000 cybersecurity jobs are unfilled.
  • More than 200 billion devices will be Internet-connected by 2020.
  • Over 95% of all cybersecurity breaches occur because of human error.
  • Less than 38% of global businesses report they are prepared for cyber-attacks.
  • 20% of online users have shut down an account due to harassment by a cybercriminal.
  • Most Americans (71%) are worried about their credit cards and bank information being stolen online.
  • Only 42% of people trust their employer to safeguard their personal information.
  • More than 41% of Americans have shared their password or online account information with family and friends, exposing themselves to cybercrime.
  • 65% of Americans worry about privacy when purchasing online.

Cybercrime is here to stay. Although the government and local law enforcement are doing their part to keep America safe, you cannot be too careful and must also take measures to keep your own assets safe and private.