Motor vehicle theft rates nationwide have dropped by 66% in the last 30 years and plummeted as much as 96% in places like New York City. Why? Simple technologies have made it more difficult, such as microchip keys, remote engine shut off, and the ability to track the location of a stolen vehicle. You see, criminals are not overly sophisticated. They are looking for easy opportunities to exploit weaknesses, constantly moving to the next easiest thing. Thieves stopped stealing horses when the car was invented. They are criminals of opportunity, and they’ve now moved off the streets and onto your computers.
Criminals Target The Vulnerable
The majority of criminals will target the most vulnerable. They are looking for easy money because for the most part, it’s a lazy occupation. The goal is to steal as much as possible without being caught. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized. In much the same way, today’s cybercriminals are closely related to the criminals who walk down the street checking every car door handle to see which one is unlocked.
The largest percentage, 38%, of cyber-attacks came from phishing emails. These are emails sent out to thousands of people with the hope that a few people will click on a hazardous link or share sensitive information. This puts your own information at risk, and if you are working for a company, it could potentially put all of your customers at risk as well. Cybercrimes have increased by 300% during the pandemic. The FBI attributes the spike to the increased online activity over the last year. Google announced they are blocking more than 100 million phishing emails every day. Online crimes are attractive because it’s not only hard to find the criminal, it’s hard to even know you’ve had your information stolen to begin with.
Crime Is Moving To The Digital Landscape
Thirty years ago the best data security advice was to shred your old documents. In today’s world, threats come from gaps in network security, inadequate education, stolen devices, malware, and ransomware. Every employee/family member, company you work with, and outdated program is now potentially the unlocked car door for every criminal walking down the street. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why cybercrime is on the rise.
Defense Against The Rise In Cybercrime
The problem can seem overwhelming at times, but the answer is similar to the reason car thefts have declined. A few simple best practices and technological help, and anyone can greatly decrease the likelihood of a cybercrime. Have regular cyber audits, train your employees (or family members) about phishing scams and how to avoid them, test the firewall (or home network) for vulnerabilities. With many cybercriminals looking for the easy target, working with an expert is critical to help you stay cyber safe and off the radar of cybercriminals.