In 2018, numerous major hacks took place, affecting huge companies like HSBC, British Airways and Facebook. In the first half of the year alone, it’s thought that around 4.5 billion records were stolen. Experts suggest the trends of hackers have matured over the last year and allude to a focus on more targeted, increasingly sophisticated extortion efforts.
A new approach?
More traditional examples of cybercrime are still used to excess. This includes mass mailing, in which criminals indiscriminately send emails to an enormous set of targets with the hope that one or several will click the infected link, being malware that infiltrates and damages your device’s software.
But 2018 saw a much more tactile approach from hackers.
Reports suggest that whilst such techniques have made huge amounts of illegal gains—ransomware alone is estimated to have brought about seven and eight-figure sums—their number has decreased quite consistently recently. Industry experts point to a greater sense of awareness from employees on how to spot potential cyber-attacks, together with more sophisticated anti-virus protection in place.
So how are hackers responding?
It’s long been considered natural for hackers to eventually begin to target specific businesses or industries. The motivation behind any cyber-attack, whilst often financial, isn’t always. With enough determination, hackers can and will be successful in their endeavour to cause chaos and disruption, as proven by the much-publicised Facebook hack.
In fact, we’re now seeing more targeted extortion attacks taking down whole companies and their back-ups. Currently small in frequency, but some of the most devasting in terms of financial cost. And believe it or not, in cybercriminal circles, hacking such a global business can give hackers credibility and respect, as evidenced by the hack of Apple Inc. by a 16-year-old boy.
Hackers and cybercriminals of such a young age are a serious cause for concern. Recently, the BBC reported that teenagers as young as 14 were making thousands of pounds every week on the videogame Fortnite. The hackers crack into player accounts and sell them on.
It’s very concerning and difficult to manage. Fortnite maker, Epic, has warned hackers time and time again, but controlling such calculated, measured attacks seems a task too heavy to handle.
My son plays Fortnite and we had a worrying few days when his account was down. Luckily, we changed passwords and now all seems to be okay.
Threats to businesses and manufacturing
It’s not just global businesses that hold sensitive data who are at risk. Manufacturing companies are also exposed to cyber risk as more machinery becomes digitally connected. Cyber insurance can protect your business from the aftermath of a successful cyber-attack.
So make sure that your business is protected from devastating cyber-crime – get in touch for a chat and further information.