The War on Cybercrime and Attackers


GDPR: The revelation that a friend or local business has been hacked is old news nowadays. A few years ago, the idea that unknown assailants might have successfully penetrated your social media account or compromised files in an office or hospital would have prompted gasps of trepidation and disquiet – not anymore. Cybercrime is everywhere in 2019, and growing into an ever-larger threat with each passing month. It is estimated that online criminal activity will cost the world €6 trillion annually by 2021, up from €3 trillion in 2015. Such is the growth of this illegal trade that it is predicted it will become more profitable than the accumulated profits of the combined global drugs cartels. Major cyber-attacks are fastest growing in the US, where their size, sophistication and regularity continue to increase annually.

The major data breach at Marriott Hotels in 2018 is estimated to have exposed 500 million user accounts, while the Yahoo hack – the largest ever – was calculated to have affected 3 billion users. The previous year saw similar patterns, with the Equifax breach compromising up to 150 million customers, joining the havoc caused by the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware cyberattacks in 2017. Given that this vast underground universe of the internet is neither indexed, regulated nor accessed by search engines, its dimensions defy evaluation – but some estimates calculate its size as far bigger than the worldwide web we all use on a daily basis.

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So explains Ronan Murphy, group chief executive of Smarttech247, the Cork-based cybersecurity firm hosting the upcoming FutureSec 2019 conference offering a wide range of presentations, including the FBI, An Garda Síochána and the Data Protection Commission (GDPR). While the introduction of GDPR has helped to a degree, Irish companies still need to consider more employees training and best practice around security testing measures.

Source: Irish Examiner

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