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How Hackers Have Changed from Lone Wolves to Entire Criminal Organizations

In the past, hackers were 17-year-old pranksters bent on causing mischief. Cybercrime is no longer mostly committed by hackers breaking into computer systems just for thrills. Today’s hackers are organized crime syndicates intent on stealing intellectual property, extorting money from victims and stealing marketing plans and industrial secrets which they sell to company rivals. Today, the average age of a hacker is 35 and the majority of hackers are affiliated with organized crime.

Organized Hackers

Cybercrime provides organized crime groups with the potential for immense profits. Low risks and high rewards make networks an ideal target for organized criminals. In addition, these groups benefit from the fact that law enforcement jurisdictions lack the technical capabilities and the proper framework in place to address the rapid-growing cybercrime problem.

The anonymity, ease of communication and the variety of tools that organized crime groups possess have completely changed cybercrime into a profit-driven, fast-growing industry run by organized criminal groups.

How Do They Hack?

These criminals use cloud-based software services and automated exploit-kits that are just as sophisticated as those used by large, global companies. Large organized crime groups can infiltrate a target’s computer network invisibly and remain undetected for years while tapping secrets to sell. So, what can you do to reduce the chance that your company will fall victim to organized crime hackers?

How to Prevent Hacking

Utilize high-quality malware, spyware and firewall software programs to protect you and your company. You can better protect your business and mitigate the potential impact of cyber attacks by protecting your apps and network, testing security systems and using anti-malware, anti-spyware and firewall programs. These programs can help catch and eliminate cyber threats before they become problematic. Also make sure you have strong password policies, such as changing them on a regular basis and using intricate passwords with symbols, numbers, and letters.

Invest in Strong Security Measures

Robust security procedures and equipment can help prevent or deter cyber attacks. Some security procedures which might be helpful include:

  • Applying the latest security patches
  • Maintaining the company’s database back-ups on a different web server then its application server
  • Developing network security architecture and support through a server management and support service

Proper server management and support can protect a company’s entire network from cybercrime.

Ensure That You Have Robust Email Security

Email encryption is similar to locking your car doors. It helps deter thieves as a burglar is more likely to look for an unlocked door than bother breaking a window. Encrypting company communications and emails will help to deter break-ins by forcing a hacker to fight through another layer of protection.

While you’re not entirely secure, every additional roadblock will provide an additional layer of security and deter thieves. Hackers generally do not want to waste the time fighting through encryption when they can steal information from another source more easily.

While it is not possible to be 100 percent secure, following through on the above steps can help prevent the likelihood of your business falling victim to sophisticated cybercrime.  If you have concerns about your businesses network security talk to us.   We help Ottawa businesses with their IT support and security services and we would love to help you too.