Cybercrime is rampant in Organizations

August 25, 2013

Multiple studies have shown that cybercrime is one of the top three types of reported economic crime globally. The offense includes but not limited to cyber espionage, cyber war, cyber disruptions and cyber terrorism. They lead to erosion of reputation, financial loss and even loss of personal identifiable information among other severe losses. On the other hand, research by several academicians has also found that most senior people in organizations are not placing enough emphasis on the importance of managing cyber-crime threats. 
Cases of crackers (I don’t call them hackers) success in cracking websites from which they siphon stolen funds are largely blamed on victim’s lack of awareness regarding cybercrime threats and the consequences. Many organizations’ security policies do not cover areas like social media many of which provide loopholes for exploitation by cyber criminals. After posting an article on cyber crime threats to developing countries, the feedback I got was a clear indication that cybercrime is menace for governments just like organizations.

A recent global survey established that more than 60% of their respondents admitted their organizations do not monitor the use of social media sites.The rampant growth of the so-called “underground economy” has made obtaining illegal funds a cakewalk. For those unaware, the underground economy involves sellers, buyers, and illicit markets. Crooks involved in such businesses, always ask for credit and debit card information, financial accounts, withdrawal services, theft of identity and photography, retail accounts, website accounts, spam and phishing information, server accounts, compromised computers, malicious applications among many other details. Usage of Internet by criminals has continued to increase the difficulty of investigating crimes and prosecuting the offenders. There are very many difficulties in identifying the perpetrators as well as a number of jurisdiction problems during investigation and prosecution stages. Just ask any financial crimes investigators about their work and most of them will tell you financial crimes can predicate offense to more dangerous offenses signifying need for organizations to invest more in crime prevention measures.

Unfortunately, for any organizations planning to invest in crime prevention measures the technology cost is prohibitive and hence many are reluctant to do so. Whether an organization consider long term or mid term benefits of investing in security technology or not, most of them view such an investment as a waste of money in terms of prevention measures which is not the case. In practical terms, research has shown that large organizations are more likely to suffer fraud and related crimes because they have more areas they operate, huge number of employees and assets, and the fact that they deal with more vendors. I strongly believe that investing in crime prevention measures is equivalent to other investments that improve organization’s efficiency hence reducing the risk of incurring loss from cybercrime attacks that mostly lead to industrial espionage. Furthermore, many studies conducted globally have revealed that any organization with high level of security has positive influence on customers’ appetite to transact with such an organization.

Contador Harrison