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October 28, 2019

Five top trends in the evolving world of cybercrime

Cybercrime is on the rise and continues to evolve with new threats making waves and surfacing every year.

According to the PEW Research Center and FBI data, property crimes, such as burglary, have declined by approximately 50% in the last 25 years. Unfortunately, crime is not declining on all fronts. Cybercrime is on the rise and continues to evolve with new threats making waves and surfacing every year.

When you consider how many connected devices you use daily and how much time is spent online, it’s important to know what to watch out for. In this article, we’ve outlined five of the most pressing cybercrime issues of 2019, and the continuing rising trends for 2020, as identified by the World Economic Forum.

1. Advanced phishing kits

Cybercriminals deploy phishing scams via text or email to trick individuals into giving out personal information that may be used to obtain personal data including passwords, account numbers, and Social Security numbers. This information is used to get access to email, as well as bank and other accounts. It’s predicted that there will be advanced phishing attacks in 2020 due to an increase in the number of phishing kits now available on the dark web. These kits make running a phishing scheme quite simple, even for those with novice technology skills.

2. Remote access attacks

According to the World Economic Forum’s threat intelligence database, remote access attacks are one of the most common attack avenues in a connected home. Remote attacks are typically used to view or steal data and to introduce damaging viruses or other malicious software to a computer, network, or system. Remote access hackers target computers, smartphones, internet protocol cameras, and network-attached storage devices since these tools usually need to have ports open and forwarded to external networks or the internet.

3. Attacks via smartphones

More than 60% of fraud online is accomplished through mobile platforms. Of this, 80% is achieved through mobile apps instead of mobile web browsers, according to digital risk advisor RSA. Because most people use their phones to manage financial transactions and handle sensitive data outside of their secure home network, smartphone attacks are becoming a prominent threat.

4. Vulnerabilities in home automation and the internet of things

Home automation devices collect valuable user data and can become an easy entry point for a hacker to launch an attack and steal personal information. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are vulnerable by design because added security features would greatly increase manufacturing and maintenance expenses. With the growing popularity of these devices, threats are likely to increase.

5. Utilizing artificial intelligence

With advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, utilizing AI in cyberattacks is becoming a more popular and threatening trend. Hackers are getting smarter and using inexpensive, scalable, and anonymous AI systems to aid them in cybersecurity evasion, phishing, and social engineering scams. These systems allow cybercriminals to invade a user’s device or system without detection and can create automated content that can pass through typical cybersecurity filters. The biggest benefit AI may offer hackers is through social engineering, one of the most popular hacking techniques. Traditional social engineering methods take a lot of time to implement and AI could help speed up scams with information collection, writing emails, and calling potential victims.

Cybercrime is evolving at a rapid pace, but there are ways to protect yourself and minimize your risk. Learn more in our Cyber Risk E-book. Talk to a Marsh McLennan Agency Private Client Services personal risk advisor to learn more about the solutions available to protect you and your family from significant loss and to assess your risk.