Operations

Global Cybercrime Costs Approach $400 Billion

Education is the best defense against social engineering.

September 26, 2013
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Randy Romes

Global cybercrime costs about $114 billion annually—plus another $274 billion to allow for the costs of staff time to try to track and fix the damage done, says Randy Romes, principal of information security at CliftonLarsonAllen.

He addressed the joint CUNA Technology Council/CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council conference in Hollywood, Calif.

“Cybercrime costs the world significantly more that the global black market in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined,” Romes says, “which is estimated at $288 billion.

"Hackers tend to go for the easy money, and members are much easier targets than credit unions," he continues. “In instances of cybercrime, the weakest link is the end user."

Romes cited a 2013 research report from TrustWave that showed nearly 62% of illegal intrusions in 2012 were done by exploiting applications submitted remotely.

Once cybercriminals find their way into computer systems, 80% of the internal propagation is the result of weak administrative credentials. After they’ve obtained access, it takes 1.5 years on average for hackers to be detected, according to TrustWave.

“The research shows that most of the compromised systems were managed by third parties: 63% were managed by third parties and 37% were managed in-house,” Romes says.

He has seen a sharp increase in losses due to "social engineering," which he defines as the use of nontechnical attacks to gain information or access to technical systems. This often is done with pretexting phone calls or unauthorized entry into a building.

“The best defense against social engineering,” Romes says, “is to constantly create awareness among staff to the types of threats they might be subject to.”

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive