DES MOINES, Iowa – Cybercrime is on the mind of State Auditor Rob Sand.
“Individuals, businesses, schools, and government entities are all susceptible to cybercrimes,” says Sand. “It’s important for everyone to increase cybersecurity measures because a deficiency in one system can give criminals access to mounds of data that can result in cybercrimes like identity theft.”
Among the most common cybercrimes are Business Email Compromise (BEC), identity theft, ransomware, and spoofing and phishing scams. BEC and Email Account Compromise (EAC) are sophisticated scams that are carried out when legitimate email accounts are compromised. The compromised account is then used to send fraudulent emails soliciting funds that are directed to illicit accounts.
“BEC attacks were reported to the Auditor’s Office by state and local governments, as well as schools,” says Sand. “I was even the target of a BEC scheme last year. Thanks to some vigilant state workers, the scam was squashed.”
On average, the FBI received 2,300 cybercrime complaints per day in 2021, resulting in $6.9 billion in losses to victims. Sand says Iowa ranks 21st in the country in the number of cybercrime victims per state, losing a total of $33.8 million dollars to cybercriminals.
Measures to protect organizations from cybercrime include:
– Updated multifactor authentication
– Updated software
– Control measures that include detailed IT policies and procedures
– Enhanced Firewalls
– Think before you “click”