Growth of cybercrime is ‘ruthless’


Cybercrime has established itself as a permanent fixture in 21st century life, with the number of incidents and victims continuing to rise with dogged determination.

This is according to a new report from Europol, which stated that this “relentless growth” is being fuelled by an increase in the number of cybercriminals and the highly profitable opportunities they are looking to exploit.

Its 2016 Internet Organised Crime Threat Index said that cybercrime is so bad in some EU countries, that it “may have surpassed traditional crime in terms of reporting”.

Writing in the foreword to the paper, Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, commented that this recent assessment of cybercrime confirms that it remains a “real and significant threat”.

Also commenting on the findings, Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), added: “2016 has seen the further evolution of established cybercrime trends.

“The threat from ransomware has continued to grow and has now expanded into sectors such as healthcare. Europol has also seen the development of malware targeting the ATM network, impacting cash services worldwide.”

The report also highlighted some notable threats that individuals and organizations should be aware of.

This includes cybercrime-as-a-service, which is a more ‘entrepreneurial’ way of organizing cyber-related criminal activities; and ransomware, a trend that is “unlikely to change for the foreseeable future”.

Earlier this year, the 2016 Black Hat Attendee Survey reported that most security professionals are more concerned than ever of the threat of cybercrime, and that they are feeling this pressure.

“Perhaps the most important conclusion we can draw from the survey is that the pressures on security professionals are not letting up,” the authors noted.

“In fact, they are intensifying. In nearly every question and category, Black Hat attendees indicated that their environments are more at risk this year than they were last year.”

by Narinder Purba, ESET We Live Security

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