The New Mafia: Gangs and Vigilantes

A Guide to Cybercrime for CEOs

Executive Summary
As the name implies, cybercrime is a technologically advanced iteration of traditional crime taking place in the virtual world. Though the nuances of cybercrime are unclear to many, the structure, execution and malice are reminiscent of those historically practiced within criminal organizations.

‘The new mafia: gangs and vigilantes. A guide to cybercrime for CEOs’ examines the rise of this activity and its ramifications for businesses and consumers. Through expert insight, this guide determines that the approach to stop cybercrime must reflect the path once taken to handle notorious gangs: fight back.

The Rise of Cybercrime

  • Cybercrime has emerged from a nascent threat to an endemic global phenomenon, inflicting vast damage to businesses and individuals.
  • The pace and pervasiveness at which cybercrime has emerged is creating a collective sense of worry among many consumers. While possibly overestimating the risks, more consumers find themselves scared, confused and intimidated.
  • Attacks on businesses are growing. The number of attacks recorded in the first 10 months of 2017 has surpassed the total for all of 2016. The average monthly volume of attacks is up 23%. Businesses underestimate the extent to which they are targeted.

Emergence of the New Gangs

  • Spawned from innocent beginnings, ‘hacking’ transformed into criminal activities through the 1980s and 1990s. In the early 2000s, the impact of expansive global attacks piqued the interest of criminals and nations alike.
  • Four distinct groups of cybercriminals have emerged, serving as the new syndicates of cybercrime: traditional gangs, state-sponsored attackers, ideological hackers and hackers-for-hire.

Fighting back: Consumers and Businesses as the New Vigilantes

  • To fight against cybercrime, both consumers and business must call upon their collective experiences, knowledge and awareness to supplement the actions of law enforcement agencies.
  • Among consumers, awareness of cybercrime needs to shift towards a more honest and empathic perception of the risks and threats. Individuals need to feel encouraged to share and act, rather than be silenced by fear.
  • Businesses must also heighten their awareness of cybercrime, taking a realistic view towards the likelihood of attack. The vast impacts of these attacks mean that cybercrime must be elevated from a tech issue to a business-critical consideration.

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