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FCW : September 30, 2016
30 September 30, 2016 FCW.COM 21 9Those who predicted that we’d see another increase in cybercrime in 2016 have been proven right, though it’s hard to find an industry expert who didn’t believe cybercrime would grow this year. Experts say the number of hacks and attacks, the volume of people affected, and the dollar value of the damage grew in the past year and will continue to do so. Although cybercrime is notoriously difficult to quantify in hard data, anecdotal evidence shows that cybercriminals are increasingly active and at increasing cost to companies, governments and the global economy. A report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the total global cost of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion by 2021. PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 notes a sharp increase in the incidence of cybercrime among its survey respondents and says it jumped from fourth to second place among the most-reported types of economic crime. “Over a quarter of respondents told us they’d been affected by cybercrime,” the study states. “Ominously, another 18 percent said they didn’t know whether they had or not.” Larry Clinton, president and CEO of the Internet Security Alliance, said three main factors account for the growth in cybercrime: “The system is getting weaker, cybercriminals are getting stronger...and the economics of cybercrime favor the bad guys.” In fiscal 2016, several trends emerged or continued. In particular, there was a surge in ransomware attacks, CEO phishing scams and attacks focused on manipulating or destroying data rather than exfiltrating it. Clinton pointed out another problem with trying to quantify the level of cybercrime: As hackers get more sophisticated, they are able to carry out more attacks that are not being detected. FCW asked a variety of cybersecurity experts and analysts for their nominations for the top cybercrimes of fiscal 2016. The criteria were open-ended and included crimes with the broadest and most significant impact or those that signaled worrisome new trends. Beyond the top three, there was a notable lack of consensus among the responses. That’s a function of the variety of crimes and the perceptions about the risks and threats they indicate. TOP 9 CYBERCRIMES OF 2016 BY SEAN D. CARBERRY 0930fcw_014-027.indd 21 9/7/16 9:31 AM
September 15, 2016