The Cybercrime Reality

The Cybercrime Reality

Storming the Castle

Your opponent is closing in. Pawns down, knights watching from the sidelines; Checkmate is only a maneuver away. But hark! Fast-traveling rooks waste no time. Swooping in, they “castle” the king, and the game goes on.

Referred to as a “heavy piece” in the game of chess, the rook is a powerful, agile defense. Yet, such a description—powerful, agile—can equally apply to those on ‘the other side;’ the criminal world, “they.”

Working Blue Can Buddy Hack It?

We may prefer to view cyber criminals as nebulous outposts of the pronoun: shady, non-descript characters in a poorly-lit room, indiscriminate features shown up in the monitors’ flat, blue light, brooding and scheming evil.

Reality check: Cybercrime is BIG. Though offenses can be committed by small groups, or even individuals, large, organized crime rings are also hard at work. And yes, despite the output of chaos and havoc, behind the scenes, “they” are organized.

WORD NOTE  hack – verb \?hak\
: to manage successfully
: to gain access to a computer illegally

Rogue individuals and established institutions alike are combining the above abilities to their own nefarious ends. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) numbers indicate the grand and ever-ballooning scale of cybercrime:

In 2012, the IC3 received 289,874 consumer complaints with an adjusted dollar loss of $525,441,1101, which is an 8.3-percent increase in reported losses since 2011.

And not only are large retailers at risk. The cyber-crook’s target is wide. Even small businesses are not immune. Per Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), “31% of all data breaches in 2012 occurred at organizations with fewer than 100 employees.”

Just What We Need—A Little More In Security

Perhaps you’re well aware of the threat. Yet the best way in which to tackle the issue of cyber security may elude you. Returning to our chess game, it’s only by studying the master’s tactics that the apprentice can use knowledge to his advantage, anticipating future attacks. Weaknesses identified, enemy strategy well-in-hand, what’s the next step?

Many would feel that high-tech security implementation is the obvious answer. While shoring up weak points is a necessity, a recent news story suggests that more is needed:

Tom Kellermann, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, a professional services firm, says the latest round of attacks indicate that even companies that invest heavily in sophisticated security systems are seeing new vulnerabilities from new sources; namely, rogue hackers who are buying readily available software tools on the black market.

What is the result when even “sophisticated security systems” are breached? In the recent case of one major retailer, costs are “about $200 per lost record to cover legal expenses and fines.” Sure, there are a myriad of ways in which cyber criminals can leach information from your company, and not all will end in an international news story. But why take that risk? According to Verizon’s study: “The methods used by hackers to gain access to data are numerous, wide-reaching and ever-growing. This isn’t a threat you can afford to ignore.” So what recourse do you have?

Never Ignore the Fog of War

This means war! First line of defense: Utilize your number one asset, people. Unfortunately, employees can also become your company’s primary liability if not well-informed. “Taking information home, copying data onto a USB drive, attaching the wrong file to an email or sending it to the wrong person, or leaving a laptop in a cab can all lead to a data breach,” according to Verizon’s DBIR. Your team is crucial when it comes to preparedness against the enemy. So, train and maintain cyber-security know-how among your workforce—knowledge, and the ability to recognize risk will serve as an incalculable stronghold.

Verizon also notes that growing numbers of professionals are adopting the “assume you’re breached” mentality. At its core, this philosophy is about self-preservation, preventing your business, and your clients, from the snare of overconfidence. A natural plan of action: Develop a defensive strategy of your own, before risk becomes ruin.

Don’t Get Rooked Trying to Pawn This Off

Both in chess, and in protecting against security breaches, power is tied to mobility. Two equal halves in a direct relationship. ZINC would like to be your other half, working with you to tailor a cyber-security policy to your and your clients’ individual needs.

By concentrating on security concerns specific to your business interests, we can help you choose a defense that will be easily mobilized when needed. In such a case that a breach does happen to precipitate loss, don’t be “their” pawn. Give your trusted ZINC agent a call — IT’S YOUR MOVE!

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