Cybercrime More Common Than You Would Think

encryptionMarkMonitor, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm, conducted a cybercrime survey of over 3,400 European adults.

The results are eye-opening.

45% of the respondents – nearly half – had been the victim of some sort of cybercrime. 20% of that 45% lost more than 1,000 British Pounds, or about US $1,300.

Going Phishing

Far and away the most common form of cyberattack people have experienced have been “phishing” attacks, where a cybercriminal poses as a legitimate entity in order to steal someone’s login credentials or other personal data. 20% of the people who had been victims of cybercrime had fallen for a false request to reset a password for social media accounts. Cybercriminals are also especially interested in hacking social media because so many people use social media to log in to other accounts. Access to a social media account can be like a master key that provides people access to many other accounts as well, where sensitive personal information may be stored.

Consumers are Not Naïve

While some people in the industry like to blame ignorant consumers for contributing in a large way to cybersecurity problems, consumers may not be as ignorant as some would think. 87% of the respondents were aware of the techniques that cybercriminals use to commit their crimes, yet a high percentage of them still fell victim. This is a reflection of the increasing levels of sophistication of the scammers – they have gotten much better at looking like the “real thing.” Clumsy scams, the digital equivalent of a pasted together ransom note, are a thing of the past. Consumers need to learn to be extra vigilant, and to know that if they get an email telling them to login to their account, they should go to the website directly, not by clicking a link in an email that could lead them to a site where they will give away their credentials to a scammer.

Consumers and Brands

78% of consumers report that a cyberattack affects their perception of a brand in a negative way. Companies need to be aware that the damage that comes from falling victim to a major cyberattack extends far beyond the immediate financial impact.

Consumers also expect brands to be very proactive in protecting them from fraud (74%), educating them on fraud (63%), and having a compensation mechanism in place when problems occur (49%).

The most trusted businesses relative to cybersecurity are financial institutions and online shopping; the least trusted are social media.

As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, more sophisticated tools are needed to combat them, such as PACid’s paradigm-shifting Bolt-on Strong Security (BoSS).