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The seven cyber crimes you need to know about

Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

With great connectivity comes great opportunity – for your business and for the cybercriminals. We look at the seven types of cyber crime you should be aware of in 2016.

According to the Telstra Cyber Security Report 2016, cyber crime is growing at an alarming rate – incidents of security breaches doubled in the last 12 months, and more than a third of Aussie businesses are ill-equipped to handle threats.

One of the key areas of improvement identified by the report was a lack of cyber security understanding by senior executives. It also highlighted the need to overcome the idea that only the top end of town needs to think about protecting itself.

For in many cases, small and medium businesses don’t have the level of enterprise protection that their bigger counterparts do – making them targets of opportunity. According to Craig Joyce, Telstra’s Director of Security Practice, the discussion with businesses at the moment is “not so much a focus around ‘if’, more around ‘when’ they might be compromised”

The first step towards overcoming security threats is understanding them. So here are the seven types of cyber crime your business needs to know about.

A pair of hands typing on a keyboard.

1. Espionage

Espionage isn’t just for spy movies, in the modern security world it can mean corporate hackers or other groups looking to target people, businesses and governments alike.

Their goals are varied and can include theft of intellectual property (IP), which can weaken business’ competitive advantage or help out rivals.

2. Cybercrime

Cybercrime is made up of two main areas: Organised crime looking to profit by holding your business data captive with ransomware, as well as outright theft of financial, IP or credit card information that your business stores. 

Cyber criminals typically target financial information like credit/debit cards, but there is a growing trend among cyber criminals towards stealing full personal details, healthcare information and identity theft which can have a higher impact than simply reissuing credit cards. 

Want to read the white paper?

Check out Telstra’s Cyber Security Report 2016.

Find Out More

3. Cyber terrorism

Cyber terrorism is generally politically motivated. It involves using computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear. This can involve businesses in many ways, particularly when it comes to releasing personal information that’s been sourced from business databases.

4. Cyber hacktivism

Cyber Hacktivism occurs when groups launch a cyber attack with an activist agenda or ethics-based aim. A number of high-profile groups have been known to hack into businesses that may be involved in unethical behavior to demonstrate a point and bring notoriety.

When it comes to Hacktivism, groups’ motivations are to draw as much publicity to an issue or cause as possible through hacking and security breaches. 

5. Insider threats

When it comes to security breaches, a business’ staff are among the most common causes for concern.

Whether it’s existing staff that are disgruntled and want to cause problems for the business, or an ex-employee that wants to take information for personal gain – the effects can be catastrophic for business.

This can also happen when employees are leaving and want to take the business’ IP to benefit their new employer.

6. Cyber warfare

When it comes to cyber warfare, this is often done across borders and is sanctioned by nations or states. While many businesses wouldn’t see this as a threat immediately, widespread attacks on businesses can dramatically impact the economic growth of a country, so any productive company can still be a huge target.

These hackers are looking for access to a critical system to disrupt or disable essential services, steal or alter confidential data or wipe financial systems.

7. Cyber mischief

Cyber mischief-makers look to disrupt businesses by shutting down websites and attributing their online persona to the replacement in order to gain notoriety among their peers (think of it as the graffiti of the digital world).

They’re generally motivated by causing havoc and disruption, which can significantly affect businesses involved – you can’t put sales through an eCommerce site that isn’t running, or engage with your customers while the site is down.

Cyber threats are a constantly evolving landscape. As more businesses connect online with a broader spectrum of devices, security risks can crop up anywhere.

These are some of the most prevalent cyber threats in our business world today, staying up to date with your firewalls and security protocols is the best way to keep your data safe and your business on track.

Are you concerned about your business security? 

Book your business for a free security health check today.

Find Out More

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