Cyber security: 12 internet users worldwide fall victim to cyber criminals every second claims new report

What’s the likelihood of your business being attacked by cybercriminals? Well, according to a recent report from Russia’s Interior Ministry, the answer is probably more likely than you might have expected. What happens in Russia might not appear to be especially relevant to UK businesses, but the issue of cybercrime transcends national borders: cyber-criminality has the potential to affect each and every one of us, so it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to mitigate the threat.

How significant is the issue of cyber-criminality? Well according to Russia’s cybercrimes Bureau of Special Technical Measures at least 12 internet users worldwide fall victim to cyber criminals every second. What’s more it believes this number will increase exponentially unless action is taken, especially given the growth of mobile technology and the recent surge of cyber-attacks where viruses have targeted mobile apps. The majority of smartphone and tablet computers neglect using antivirus and anti-spyware security software.

The report found that there has also been a sea-change in the motivation of hacking. The days of mischief-making cybercriminals are long gone: today’s cyber intrusions are targeted, with an estimated 19 per cent of attacks focused on financial assets.  Aleksey Moshkov, the head of the cybercrimes Bureau of Special Technical Measures, told a Moscow IT and information security forum last week that in 2012 alone his Bureau had thwarted hacker attacks aimed at defrauding Russian citizens of a total of around $28 million: he argued that it’s now vital for governments, enterprises and end-users to minimise risk and improve security if further problems are to be averted:

“Every second 12 people in the world become victims of cyber criminals and this figure is growing every year, studies estimate. Russia does not lag behind the world: in 2013, crimes registered in telecommunications and computer technology increased by 8.6 per cent.”

Moshkov’s comments mirror some of the concerns highlighted by computer security firm, Kaspersky Labs. In a recent study undertaken with B2B International, Kaspersky noted that 62 per cent of respondents reported at least one recent incident of cybercriminals attempting to steal financial information. Of the 62 per cent of users who reported they had been victims of cybercrime, 41 per cent said they had lost money they were unable to get back.

The reason for the escalation in cyber-crime it believes is largely due to the risks of online shopping and banking services. According to Kaspersky’s report:

“The added convenience for law-abiding users almost always creates new security concerns, and cybercriminals are cashing in. Banking Trojans, ransomware, fakes of banking and shopping websites – the crooks have a sizeable arsenal of techniques to steal money. Like any technology, online financial services have their pros and cons.”

“Today’s practices only increase the risk of a malicious attack, or the loss or theft of a device, as well as the loss of critically important personal data, such as personal photographs, videos, audio, sensitive work documents, and in the end, this could all lead to major financial and moral damages,” Kaspersky Lab said.

In a recent interview with Reuters Kaspersky Lab’s co-founder and CEO, Evgeny Kaspersky, said one of the company’s major concerns is the vulnerability of banking applications when accessed by Android phones. Kaspersky’s statistics show that 99 per cent of mobile attacks are now targeting Android-based phones, rather than iOS devices as Apple has strict controls and does not allow third-party applications.

These latest statistics are also backed up by research published by the UK government. It revealed that cyber criminals swiped more than £1 billion ($1.65 billion) from British bank accounts in one year alone. Its research revealed that one in five adults said they had lost at least £500 ($325) after falling victim to online scams or from shopping on unsecure websites.

For information on how to mitigate cyber security risks and help with security reviews, penetration testing or web security solutions, please contact Krypsys on 01273 044072 or [email protected].