Cybercrime has moved beyond the realm of the garden variety hacker sitting outside of a business or residence and using their wireless router to access sensitive information from laptops and personal computers. Today, this type of crime, when it occurs, affects everything in human daily interactions.Just by the sheer amount of connections to technology that each and every human has, society becomes, as a whole, vulnerable to these types of attacks. From checking account balances from cellphones to making major purchases online, when considering the opportunities that criminals have to hack into accounts, cybersecurity is extremely important in today’s world.
Cybercrime comes in many forms. It comes in the form of those people who steal information for profit (cybercriminals), professional and malicious hackers, those whose motivations are socially or politically motivated, cyberterrorists, and nationstates that launch attacks against each other. In a nutshell, the motivations behind cybercrime are either to sabotage or breach security for any number of reasons. The most common breaches in computer security are related to personal data, intellectual property, trade secrets, and information related to major business transactions (bids, mergers, and pricing). When criminals sabotage a network, it is usually to deny services, flood consumers with bogus messages, and to disable the system. On the individual level, consumers spend a considerable amount of time explaining through documentation the problems resulting from breaches of security on the home front. For a large corporation or business, such a breach can be disastrous to the point that IT departments spend a lot of their time combating and protecting against cybercriminals.
In dollars alone, breaches in security cost businesses billions, not millions, annually. According to a Forbes article written this year,cyberattacks account for billions of dollars in losses every year, and these are not small companies experiencing these attacks. The businesses that have become victim to these attacks are major players on the national and international scene. While high-profile corporations such as Target and Home Depot lost customer data and credit card information when their systems were hacked, instances of other companies losing a significant amount money to these crimes exist. Within the last decade, businesses, internationally, have suffered from cybercrime attacks.
- The security to the smart alarm company SimpliSafe was hacked, which resulted in them having to replace 300,000 devices.
- In the UK, TalkTalk suffered major losses when its computer system lost more than 100,000 customers, and the value of its stock dipped by almost 20 percent.
- Hacking into Chrysler’s computer system resulted in over one million cars being recalled.
The importance of cybersecurity in terms of money and loss of product is daunting when considering the number of customers that these corporations serve. In general, companies find that these breaches result in public relations problems, the possibility of extortion, and the disruption of operations, which can result in regulatory action by the government, lawsuits in the form of negligence claims, and breach of contract as a result of not being able to meet demands. However, more problematic for businesses that are attacked is regaining the trust of the consumer, as consumers who are at the mercy of businesses that store a large part of their financial lives want to know that when they hand over their information, it is indeed safe.
In terms of the need for professionals who can work as advocates for cybersecurity, today’s society almost mandates a need for people to work in this industry, as the incidents of cybercrimes are on the rise. Techies who spend their days trying to break into advanced government systems for kicks can transform this hobby into a job where they help companies strengthen their computer systems to prevent breaches of security. Because of the ubiquity of technology, anyone with a hands-on understanding of computer technology to those with a cybersecurity master’s degree could work with law enforcement and businesses to combat criminal activity.
Because every part of the current human condition is, in some way, connected to technology, attention to cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. By virtue of the number connections that are made daily, every single human is faced with being robbed not only of their privacy but also ofa sense of security. Regardless of the intent or motivation, cybercrimes almost always have an adverse effect on the consumer and the corporation in terms of the cost of either replacing or completely recalling products because of safety issues. They also have an adverse effect in terms of customer relations because the loss of trust between the business and its customers that happens when a major breach occurs leaves a lasting impression in the public arena, and on the individual level, the customer.