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The Impact of Cybercrime on Businesses | by Lacey A. Weeks | Feb, 2024 | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


What is cybercrime and why should businesses be concerned about it? Cybercrime is defined as “illegal activity involving computers, the internet, or network devices” where “cybercriminals commit identity theft, initiate phishing scams, spread malware, and instigate other digital attacks.” There are a few examples of cybercrime, including: “stealing and selling corporate data,” “demanding payment to prevent an attack,” “installing viruses on a targeted computer,” and “hacking into government or corporate computers.” Some of the major categories of cybercrimes are: “attacks on individuals,” “attacks on property,” and “attacks on government.” Attacks on individuals includes identity theft, cyberstalking, and credit card fraud. Attacks on property includes DDoS attacks, installing viruses on computers, or copyright infringement. Attacks on government includes hacking, cyber terrorism, and spreading propaganda (What is Cybercrime? n.d.).

There are many types of cybercrime that businesses need to be aware of in order to better protect their businesses. The Norwich University lists about five types of cybercrime. These types are hacking, malware, identity theft, social engineering, and software piracy (5 Types of Cyber Crime: How Cybersecurity Professionals Prevent Attacks n.d.). The Kaspersky website list email and internet fraud, identity fraud, “theft of financial or payment data,” “theft and sale of corporate data,” cyberextortion, ransomware, cryptojacking, cyberespionage, “interfering with systems in a way that compromises a network,” and infringing copyright as types of cybercrime (What is Cybercrime? How to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime n.d.).

Investopedia list six ways that cybercrime impacts businesses. The list includes increased costs, operational disruption, altered business practices, reputational damage, lost revenue, and stolen intellectual property (6 Ways Cybercrime Impact Business n.d.). The ways that a business could incur costs include obtaining “cybersecurity technology and expertise,” “notifying affected parties of a breach,” insurance premiums, and public relations support. There are a number of ways a cybercriminal can disrupt operations including, but not limited to, “infecting computer systems with malware that erases high-value information, or installing malicious code on a server that blocks access to your website.” Due to cyber-attacks, businesses are forced to “rethink how they collect and store information to ensure that sensitive information isn’t vulnerable.” Not only are businesses force to rethink their business practices but are at risk of reputational damage. Customers and suppliers “may feel less secure leaving their sensitive information” in the hands of the company if they have been attacked by cybercriminals at least once before. But one of the more obvious risks is that a business could risk losing revenue. And finally, intellectual property can be stolen, especially if stored in the cloud (6 Ways Cybercrime Impact Business n.d.).

Is there a way for businesses to protect themselves from cybercriminals and cyber-attacks? Though no one can truly 100% protect themselves entirely from every cyber-attack, there are ways to lower those chances. According to the Massachusetts government website, there are ways to protect your business. These include securing your networks and databases, educating your employees, creating security policies and practices, knowing “how to distinguish between fake antivirus offers and real notifications,” and informing your customers (Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks n.d.). A way to secure your networks and databases is by setting up firewalls and encrypting information. Educate your employees so they are aware of potential cybercrime methods such as phishing and social engineering. Have policies and practices in place so everyone can have a guideline to resolve cyber issues as they arise. Learn the difference between fake antivirus offers and real notifications as downloading fake antiviruses could open a gateway into your system. And finally keep your customers inform of “why you collect their personal information and what it is used for” (Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks n.d.).

n.d. 5 Types of Cyber Crime: How Cybersecurity Professionals Prevent Attacks. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://online.norwich.edu/5-types-cyber-crime-how-cybersecurity-professionals-prevent-attacks.

n.d. 6 Ways Cybercrime Impact Business. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0112/3-ways-cyber-crime-impacts-business.aspx#:~:text=Businesses%20that%20come%20under%20cyberattack,paid%20millions%20to%20settle%20claims.

n.d. Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/protect-your-company-from-cyber-attacks#:~:text=Secure%20your%20networks%20and%20databases,hidden%20and%20the%20password%20protected.

n.d. What is Cybercrime? Accessed February 7, 2024. https://www.cisco.com/site/us/en/learn/topics/security/what-is-cybercrime.html.

n.d. What is Cybercrime? How to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime. Accessed February 7, 2024. https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/what-is-cybercrime.

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