The FBI has just released a report that contains the most costly Internet-related cybercrimes as reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in 2017.
What do you think costs victims the most?
- Tech support scams
- Data Breaches
The biggest complaint was from victims who ordered and paid for a service or product that was never received. Breaches of personal data were next, and since the victim has no control over the organization that experienced the breach, these breaches can be extremely upsetting.
Phishing through emails, texts and phone calls was also high on the list. Did you know that phishing is the number one cause of a compromise? Crooks use this method because it works, having found that by tricking you into giving up your credentials or clicking on a link, they can steal what they need without going through the effort of hacking your network or account.
Ransomware losses were actually down from $2.4 million in 2016 to $2.3 million in 2017. The FBI does not recommend paying a ransom, but in some instances the organization finds that they have no choice, either due to poor prevention strategies or in an effort to protect their shareholders, staff and customers.
How can you prevent yourself or organization from becoming a victim?
- Education – Provide an ongoing and comprehensive end-user education program. People need reminders. Provide activities, posters, phishing campaigns and workshops.
- Incident response plan – Having a plan to outline how to respond to cyber events will save time and money when an incident occurs.
- Back up your data – Have recent backups and practice restoring files to ensure that the backup is valid.
- Patching and updates – Keep your hardware and software up to date. Use anti-virus and anti-spam software.
- Passwords – Use long and strong passwords. Change default passwords.
- Report an issue – Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. Help everyone understand their responsibility in identifying a suspicious email, text, phone call or activity.