Cybercrime has hit the headlines again in recent weeks with the head of the National Crime Agency – Lynne Owens – asking the British government for £1.1 billion a year to combat the growing threat of technology.
According to a 2016 study by the Ponemon Institue the global cost of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion by the year 2021. Fiendish criminals on the Dark Web grab the headlines when it comes to cybercrime but they are not the biggest threat to the average internet user.
The average person is more likely to fall foul of insurance fraudsters and data thieves than serious criminals on the internet. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about cybercrime as well as taking a look at an industry that is leading the way in protecting their customers.
(The threat of cybercrime in the UK is rising.)
Data is gold
In the past decade the internet has transformed the way that we carry out our daily activities. We buy, sell and bank on the internet on an almost daily basis handing over our sensitive personal data every time we do so.
This data is gold to fraudsters who actively seek to get it by any means possible. Once your sensitive data has been breached fraudsters can; steal your identity, make fraudulent cash withdrawalsor take out loans in your name to name but a few.
The most common techniques used by fraudsters
Phishing:Every day hundreds of thousands of fake emails are sent out from fraudsters pretending to be a reputable company. The scamsters will usually impersonate a trusted company that you use such as favourite supermarket or your bank.
In these emails you will be told of a problem with your account and given ‘quick and easy’ instructions to rectify the issue. To do this you’ll have to click on a link within the email that will take you to an external site where you’ll enter your login details.
Once you’ve done that the fraudsters have won. They have obtained your login details and if that’s for your online banking they will be able to withdraw and transfer your money. If the details are for a retailer they can place high value orders to a destination of your choice and reap the rewards.
In the summer of 2018 cybercriminals posed as HMRCand emailed people to notify them of their outstanding tax rebates. To claim this customers had to enter their bank account details in order to receive the money by BACS transfer. Instead thousands of people across the UK fell victim to the scam and lost huge sums of money.
(HMRC have been victim to a series of elaborate phishing scams on multiple occasions in the past.)
Drug deliveries: When you hear the words ‘drug trafficking’ the image that pops up in your head is one of a well-oiled organisation shipping drugs cross-continent through hi-tech means. Instead one of the most common ways to send drugs is via the postal service, it’s largely anonymous and risk free for traffickers.
All of the risk is placed on the recipient and fraudsters mitigate this risk by hacking people’s personal data to send drugs and other items to their address. Similar to the phishing threat the fraudsters will either obtain their victims addresses through phishing or hacking.
Once they have this they will organise a series of packages to be sent to these addresses, employing someone as a go-between to pose as the recipient and grab the package from the postman before it is delivered.
If they are unsuccessful in this you could end up with an unexpected delivery of illegal goods. Even worse, the police could get wind of the scam and go after you instead of the fraudsters and traffickers.
Gambling: An industry leading the fight back against cybercrime
In 2018 sweeping changes were made to the Data Protection Act in the United Kingdom that affected date regulations all around the world. The move by the authorities was made to impose tighter restrictions on companies handling sensitive data who had previously been lax with their customers’ data.
One industry that wasn’t worried by these restrictions was online gambling which had been leading the way in security terms for the best part of a decade. Online gambling has been one of the fastest growth industries in the UK & worldwide since the late nineties.
Revenues for the industry grew to almost £5 billion last year and one of the reasons that customers keep coming back to websites offering online slots, casino games and more is because they trust them.
A trusted online gaming site will offer users safety and protection through displaying a dedicated section on their website full of details on the measures they use to keep players’ money safe. Online gambling companies not only deal with thousands of high-value transactions a day, but they hold vitally sensitive personal data on their customers. Safeguarding these transactions and the data involved in them is of the utmost importance to online gambling providers.
(Online gambling companies have gone to great lengths to ensure your data is safe.)
How do online gambling companies protect their customers?
Payment service providers: Every registered gambling website must use a recognised payment service provider to process payments to and from their customers. Only a select few providers are licensed to provide these services to gambling companies such are the stringent regulations in place in the industry.
Gambling licences: The online gambling industry is heavily regulated by the British government and to operate within the country they must obtain a licence to do so. Obtaining a gambling licence to operate in the UK can take up to 12 months and providers must demonstrate their ability to protect their customers from cybercrime in order to gain their licence.
Encryption: All personal data held on you by an online gambling provider will be heavily encrypted as soon as you input it. This means that the data you provide to the company will be changed into a different format once, twice or even more than this to protect it from hackers.
The threat of cybercrime is not going to go away, in fact the threat is likely to increase in the next decade or so. As technology improves and adapts, so do fraudsters who are looking to steal your money or your data.
There are steps that you can take individually to protect your own sensitive data such as implementing strong passwords. There are times however when you simply have to rely on the security procedures of a company that you are using. Make sure you research a company’s online safety rating before handing over potentially damaging personal data.
According to a 2016 study by the Ponemon Institue the global cost of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion by the year 2021. Fiendish criminals on the Dark Web grab the headlines when it comes to cybercrime but they are not the biggest threat to the average internet user.The average person is more likely to fall foul of insurance fraudsters and data thieves than serious criminals on the internet. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about cybercrime as well as taking a look at an industry that is leading the way in protecting their customers