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Who is Commiting Cybercrime and how to Protect Yourself

By: James Azar

Since the cyber-attacks of the early nineties, hackers have continued to use their technological expertise to target everyone and everything, from small businesses to huge corporations. With an estimated 750 million malicious cyber-attacks being carried out every 40 seconds as of 2018, 2019 will surely prove to move on the upward trajectory of the past. 

Traditionally large financial institutions, as well as government agencies, were high on the target list for cyber hacking, as they provided high gains, such as wealth and data. Today though, cyber-attacks are just as common in other niches, namely the industrial sector.

Previously the ICS or Industrial Control Systems provided a false sense of security, as owners believed that their unique systems isolated them and made cyberattacks more difficult. However, none of this has made the industrial sector immune. When it comes to attacks on the industry the culprits typically fall into three specific groups:

  • Insider Espionage-Perpetrated by industry shareholders who spy to find and share intel such as trade secrets, formula specifications or proprietary information
  • Criminal Masterminds-Massive Cyber Attacks carried out against countless large companies, such as Target, Adobe, and the infamous WannaCry ransomware debacle that targeted any computer running Microsoft Windows operating systems.
  • International Operations-moving from personal or even local incidents to high-level security breaches on government bodies by foreign bodies, a form of cyber terrorism

Luckily with industry, companies have an advantage against cybercriminals who possess little knowledge of the industrial equipment, how it works and a majority of the time have resources to secure themselves to a far greater degree. In this instance, the crime typically takes place against a known digital source, such as Windows, cameras, routing systems and more. 

Prevention and Protection:

With that in mind, it is of the utmost importance to choose systems that utilize strong cyber protection as opposed to the latest tech. When it comes to cyberterrorism or “hacktivism” this can pose more of an issue as the industry needs to factor in the human element as well as the primary goal of the individuals or organizations. 

As mentioned above, when it comes to hacks on the industrial sector, the motivation is not always so cut and dry and typically it is being perpetuated by someone with insider knowledge. 

Following the Trail

The motivation can often lead straight back to the source and also provide clues as to how to prevent and deal with cyberattacks, before they have a chance to do serious damage. Understanding the why can lead a good security agency to the right protection systems for the industry. 

Impact on the Industrial Market

As industries possess potentially life-threatening data, cyber theft can jeopardize the reputation and liability of a company, a grave financial loss such as production shut downs and significant profit loss. While in a traditional system data and integrity need protection the largest risk and impact for industrial systems come from the stop on production.            

A good rule of thumb in handling these scenarios is recognizing that every system is vulnerable and needs cyber protection. Industry’s that choose to identify, isolate and protect weak points in their systems can ensure little to no incidents. Of course, it is of the utmost importance that you seek out a group of experts in the field, people who know what to look for and how to identify and seal any holes in security.

Bring in the Experts

By bringing in cybersecurity experts attacks can be prevented or identified efficiently and shut down before any damage occurs. 

For all security enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals, check out the CyberHub Engage YouTube Channel.