As technology gets advanced and more and more people lead their lives and conduct their businesses on and through various technological platforms and more so the internet, cyber crime continues to grow and adopt a new face every passing day. Cyber crime has now become a very organized undertaking and this underground business has been the cause of the very nasty and debilitating attacks on businesses and networks. The trend now is that more and more of the criminals are bold enough to own up to some of the attacks while other sets of criminals are advertising their pieces of software which they use to perpetrate their motives while others yet will offer for sale their services. This perhaps follows that the law enforcement agencies are left behind especially when it comes to having the capacity to monitor, pursue and nab the cyber criminals. The bigger crime groups will even maintain their products in this case malicious software with constant releases of update to ensure that they are not flagged and neutralized by security features and software. The groups are also such sophisticated they are scouting and recruiting top talent into their organizations. Hence criminal networks are now bold, widespread and even more potent in terms of the threat they pose to national security and big businesses.
The threat posed by the cyber criminals is such that through various numerous approaches, they are in a position to mount serious attacks which can even bring down a country’s networks and many other networks which are business and civilian oriented. The attacks are in the form of cyber terrorism and espionage, identity theft, content abuse, spamming, botnets, cyber fraud and the insider threat–another threat that cannot be ignored because of the ease of carrying information on small drives. The gap therefore between cyber security and the potential of cyber attacks is therefore increasingly growing.
The criminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to get hold of websites and networks in order to perpetrate their own malicious plots. It is therefore the responsibility of businesses and individuals to safeguard against criminals taking advantage of weaknesses within networks. The networks have now made it easy for attacks to be spread to even unsuspecting users and in the process an attack ends up having far reaching ramifications. Hence warnings have always been given and studies even indicated that attacks will continually get sophisticated and that the frequency with which they happen will be very high. The threat of such organized attacks has has potential to severely affect and disrupt critical infrastructure (civilian networks), national security, the larger economy. The cyber criminals are emboldened by the fact that the probability of getting caught and followed is very low and the laws are also lax.
The dangers and risks now seen with the increased criminal activities have increased costs to business and other risks associated with doing online business. The criminals now use new technology in their objectives to expand their scope of crime and attacks without easy detection of their schemes. The consequences are that their priorities are met and the results are that the damage and losses perpetrated are unprecedented. The greatest fear is that the criminal groups can sell their expertise and services and even partner with terrorist groups in pursuit of their wrongful demands. It will present a whole new challenge to governments and other big corporations in terms of their businesses and installations which could be used to demand ransoms and the many other demands whimsical or even genuine made by the terrorists.
With poor systems to crack down on the criminals who are often a step ahead of enforcement agencies and not fully enforced legislature, criminals get the breathing space and unwarranted freedom to perpetrate all manner of malicious schemes in the IT world to the extent of bringing down whole economies and other aspects of life. Thus drastic and continued improvements are required to maintain cyber security.