Europol Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime


04 Oct 2016

Europol Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime

Europol’s yearly Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report shows that incidents of cybercrime increased sharply in 2016 and reaffirms that there is an ever growing cybercriminal economy.

Ransomware one of the top threats

Unsurprisingly, the reports shows an increasing trend in the use of malware, with ransomware and banking Trojans remaining the top threats. With ransomware easily available to purchase on the Darknet, its usage is likely to continue to rise. 

Following a spate of terrorist attacks across Europe over the past year, the report suggests that cybercriminals are offering their services to militant groups. This could enable them to attempt to conduct cyber-attacks, but according to Europol, such groups have not yet utilised these services and their capability remains limited to the ability to conduct online vandalism with simple website defacements.

In what is now becoming a worryingly regular message, Europol said: ‘The volume, scope and material cost of cyber-crime all remain on an upward trend and have reached very high levels. The availability of cyber-crime tools and services, and illicit commodities on the Darknet.’

Phishing attacks continue to increase, but the number of attacks aimed at important targets such as CEOs has become a major threat. This type of attack called ‘Whaling’ is a much more refined version of phishing.

The report also showed that there has been an increase in attacks on bank cash-machine networks and exploitation of contactless payment card transactions is on the rise.

Tackling the threat

With the continued rise in cyber-attacks across the continent showing no signs of slowing, businesses and organisations need to do more to protect themselves from the threat. According to the UK Government, you can reduce the cyber threat to your organisation by up to 80% by implementing basic cyber security measures.

PGI’s one-day Cyber Security Awareness course  will give you an increased understanding of cybersecurity; the threats, the risks and most importantly, the strategies to mitigate the dangers. For more information call us on +44 (0) 207 887 2699

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