It’s safe to say 2016 will go down in history as a memorable year for us all. Two momentous events that will undoubtedly be remembered are the Rio Olympics and the US election. The ‘fancy bears’ and Kremlin backed Russian hackers (according to the CIA) may also spring to mind. The world’s most hotly-anticipated election and greatest sporting event were overshadowed by ‘virtual espionage’. It was the year that the world became exposed to the true power of cyber crime and the ever-growing influence it has on us all; the headline hitting attacks on the BBC & NHS in the last week spring to mind.
Regrettably attackers are not just focused on political or sporting events or even state funded enterprise. The majority of perpetrators are targeting SME’s and to a large degree, succeeding. It’s not hard to see why - I come across many businesses who are simply unaware about the danger of hackers. Others are reluctant to exhaust time and money protecting their business and quite remarkably, some business owners are simply prepared to run the risk! Cyber crime has never been so prominent yet so subtle. Many victims are unaware that they’ve been breached.
I often sympathise when speaking with business owners, who are handed down astronomical fines by their banks for not being PCI compliant. A truly false economy and for some, a risk too far. VISA estimates that ‘small business account for 95% of their breaches’. As Donald Trump takes his long-waited seat in the White House and the much beloved Sir Bradley Wiggins hangs up his racing wheels, cyber crime remains a very real threat.
Foregenix offers a free webscanning tool, WebScan. In the last year it detected card harvesting details on 1/4 of all scanned sites. To check yours, click here.
The value of fraud committed in the UK last year topped £1bn for the first time since 2011, prompting a warning about increasing cyber crime and the risk of more large-scale scams as the economy comes under pressure. Hitesh Patel, UK forensic partner at KPMG, said: “The figures for 2016 tell us two things. Firstly, that we can expect more of these super frauds as challenging economic circumstances place pressures on businesses and individuals and as technology becomes more sophisticated."