Cyber crimes rates rose starkly in 2022.
- E-commerce sites were the target of substantially more cybercrimes in 2022.
- Scammers target new and inexperienced digital users and organisations launching new services.
- The good news is that there have been some pockets of success in fighting fraudsters.
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There was a stark increase in cyber attacks on e-commerce platforms in 2022.
A LexisNexis cybercrime report that was released on Wednesday looked at trends in cybercrime over 2022 and found that there was a 195% increase in the number of automated bot attacks on e-commerce sites and a 29% increase in human-initiated attacks on e-commerce sites.
The data is global and therefore not region specific.
A bot attack refers to when a software programme performs targeted repeated tasks on a website to try and disrupt the site to perform malicious actions, according to Cloudfare, an American company that provides Cybersecurity services.
The goal of the attacks is often to obtain private data or to disrupt the site.
Human-initiated attacks include methods such as phishing, social engineering, and identity theft.
The increase in ecommerce cybercrime came as growth in digital transactions flourished last year, despite global economic conditions.
LexisNexis analysed around 80 billion digital transactions over the year. The report found that there was a 17% increase in e-commerce transactions in 2022.
Desktop e-commerce users were attacked at a higher rate than mobile shoppers; 11.8% of desktop e-commerce users were subject to a cyber attack when they created their new accounts.
While desktop attacks were the most by volume, the largest growth in attacks was for mobile app users. Thos attacks grew 107% in 2022 compared to the year before.
The report also found that there was a growing distrust in e-commerce transactions which, it said, was reflective of “an inherent growing risk in this sector”.
This growing distrust bucks the trend of other sectors, such as financial services and the communications, mobile, and media industries, where trust has increased over the last four years.
Step up the game
The report said that the digital economy was here to stay and that it was important that those who participated in it stepped up their game and took “the fight to the fraudsters”.
It said that anyone could fall victim to a cyber attack, but that new and inexperienced digital users and organisations launching new services in the digital world were particularly vulnerable.
It added that the levels and sophistication of fraud were rising and that levels of crime in general tended to rise during times of economic hardship. Digital crimes were no exception.
The elevated digital crime rate in 2022 is unlikely to subside in 2023.
The good news is that there are already pockets of success in combating digital crime, according to the report.
These include advanced scam detention models that are optimised using machine learning, collaboration between organisations to combat digital crime and the closure of fraudulent bank accounts.