Are Cyber Criminals Becoming More Sophisticated?

Cybercrime is a consistently growing threat that has caused practically every industry to rethink how it protects its information and customer data. Since there’s so much money involved, as well as valuable resources that can be sold to the highest bidder, criminals are becoming more and more motivated to conduct cybercrimes. But while cybercrime has been an ongoing threat, handling the crimes and tracking down criminals hasn’t been fruitless.

However, cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their methods and learning how to avoid facing prosecution. Whether it’s ransomware, phishing attacks or hijacking a computer’s power to mine cryptocurrency, criminals are fine-tuning how they go about not only getting what they want but avoiding capture.

Currently, the cost of cybercrime tops $600 billion annually, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, making it the third-largest type of crime after narcotics and government corruption. While this number is an estimate, it’s expected to rise, causing concern around companies’ Cyber Liability and cybersecurity needs.

Here’s a better look at what criminals are doing to make their efforts more sophisticated.

Better Crime, Better Payouts

Criminals are still using malware to conduct most of their cybercrimes, and there are plenty of options for them to choose from. Phishing kits, customizable infected files, keyloggers, ransomware, and more are available for hackers to use. But the most effective cyber criminals are bringing together these traditional methods with sophisticated manual hacking techniques that have been used in various applications, such as government espionage and sabotage.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated at using tools and resources they find on the devices they infiltrate and take over. Specifically, criminals are using management tools found on Microsoft Windows software, such as PowerShell. Attackers can trigger chains of scripts that operate in multiple Microsoft processes, leaving little to no trace behind. What this means for victims is that their defense methods can only do so much, which is causing them to rely more so on machine learning to recognize when a computer has been taken over.

Protecting Against This Rising Trend

As cyber hackers are tweaking their methods to operate without detection, technology such as machine learning mentioned above will become more common. But as companies utilize new technologies as defense mechanisms, it should be understood that criminals will more than likely latch on to them, using machine learning, for example, against their victims. By doing so, criminals will discover more zero-day attacks that don’t have defenses in place.

Businesses should be sure to keep their systems updated and patched while also using security software to keep a network as safe as possible. What’s more, businesses should obtain and/or update their Cyber Liability insurance regularly. This can prevent financial losses and reputational damages from occurring in the event of an attack. While not every potential cyber scenario can be predicted, taking proactive steps to limit risk can be the difference between staying in business or having to close indefinitely.

About Mavon Insurance

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