A new era of cyber-criminals There’s been heightened focus on the cybersecurity landscape this year due to COVID-19 and the sudden impact it’s had on our daily lives. With more of us working remotely and increasing our reliance on email, this has provided an open playground for cyber-criminals to manipulate. In fact, the ACCC has reported losses of more than $91 million so far in 2020, as scammers target personal information, leaving businesses and individuals on high alert. Security experts, such as Laura Hartley, Head of Public/Private Partnerships, Enterprise Security, NAB, and Ryan Janosevic, COO and Co-founder, RetrospectLabs, are at the forefront of industry discussion, as they work to enable organisations to protect against potential risks. At the top of their fields, Ryan and Laura give us a glimpse into the profile of a cybercriminal and insights into the most common cyber threats to businesses and individuals today.
“Cyber-criminals aren’t just a bunch of teenagers sitting in their basements anymore, they may have started out that way, but now they’re highly professional, structured and can be hired”, said Ryan. 14
Mirroring Ryan’s sentiment, Laura describes the recruitment process for cyber-criminals, also known as hackers, cyber actors or fraudsters. “Cyber-crime organisations actively target students as they are leaving university – graphic designers, computer programmers, you name it – offering them graduate programs and the opportunity to join their lucrative businesses”. Just as the skillsets of the people within cyber-crime are diversifying, so too are their motives.
There are three types of cyber fraudsters out there: • Hacktivists, who are politically motivated and aligned with a cause; • Cybercriminals, who are financially motivated. They are interested in stealing your data and turning that theft into a financial return; and • Nation state actors, who work for governments to disrupt or compromise other governments, organisations or individuals to gain access to valuable data or intelligence and can create incidents that have international significance.