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True Cybercrime: From Basement Hacks to Big Business | The Element Podcast - Episode 08


Cybercrime has gone from being a small basement hack and some isolated state actors to being a fully profitable big business. We reached out to true crime experts from the FBI and Europol to dig into this trend and see what's really happening and what we can do about it to get our businesses more secure. 

Eric Strom from Europol and James Morrison from the FBI were kind enough to join us for this epsiode, along with resident expert Bob Moore to help us get to heart of what businesses need to prioritize when it comes to secureing their data and not falling victim to these professional and well-equiped cyber threats.

Here's some perspective from Bob on the scale of these threats to global businesses: the year 2021 cybercrime will cost the global economy some six trillion dollars. 

Which to put that in perspective, that's a third the gross domestic product of the United States. It's a larger than the GDP of France, Spain and Italy put together. It's the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind - larger than the entire global illegal drug trade.

Ransomware itself along those same research statistics ransomware it's gone up 15 fold in the past couple of years because it's just so lucrative.

Speaking of ransomware, here's a new wrinkle in the leverage criminals can use - GDPR. James Morrison explains:

And so GDPR regulations are going to have an impact on them. So as, and we're starting to see kind of a change in that the criminals understand that as well. So the criminals are coming to companies and saying we've breached your data and if you don't pay us a ransom we will reveal this. And it will hurt your stock price and also it’ll cause some regulatory problems for you in the GDPR end.

To a business owner or a CIO, that is scary prospect. So we wanted to get to the heart of the attacks themselves to try and pull out specific things for a leader to focus on when developing strategies to mitigate the risk. Not surprisingly people & process, not hardware are still the weak point: Here's James again:

Statistics will show more than 90 percent of the attacks will still start with an attempt to socially engineer your people. I mean it's so silly but it comes down to phishing and passwords. If I can get somebody inside your network to click on a link I don't care about your firewall anymore. I'm past your firewall and I've got a foothold into your network. And then if you have bad passwords I don’t have to worry about it either. 

Eric added some great perspective on how these exploits are evolving and how these professional hacker organizations pick their targets:

That's why you see these major breaches.  And that's - a lot of times they’re not going to really act on that information that they've receive. They might just sit and wait. And I always liken it to like a herd. So if you're looking at an industry sector and you always look for the weakest one. Right?  So they do their research. They go online. They realize ok this problem - this company is struggling. This company just merged with somebody else. They look for those access points

Maybe you'r reading this and thinking your organizaiton isn't threatened by these hackers because you're not a big name conglomerate that's in the news everyday. Bob explores the downsides of waiting until it's too late:

Which really brings up a point. You know this cybersecurity does transcend all of those customers those companies that are out there. A lot of people think it's maybe just focussed on large enterprise customers.  Not so. There was an article in The Denver Post I read indicated small companies that suffer cybersecurity breach - sixty percent of them are out of business in six months.

This really is fantastic episode for just the sheer volume of insightful information and #realtalk that we got from our guests. If you are concerned about thes threats to your data and livelihood, or you're a CIO/CSO this epsiode is can't miss. Check out the full episodes below.


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Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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