Cybersecurity refers to all the activities involved in protecting computers, telephones, systems, networks, and data from external attacks. Activities ensuring cybersecurity should be the basis for the functioning of users all over the world, as well as companies and institutions that deal with sensitive data daily. The pandemic and remote work exposed weaknesses and gaps in defense systems. The activity of hackers and cybercriminals has intensified and has particularly affected smaller businesses and enterprises, supply chains, medical facilities, and home office workers. How can we implement safety rules in our workplaces effectively? What should we pay special attention to?

The threat of cyber attacks is real

According to Accenture, 68% of business leaders feel that the threat of cyber attacks is increasing. These premonitions are not false, and the discussion about compliance rules, information security, and proper data storage is more present in the media. At the beginning of the pandemic, the FBI announced that reported cybercrimes jumped by 300% compared to previous years. The costs associated with such attacks and the financial losses are enormous. It is estimated that in 2021, the global cost of cybercrime could reach up to 6 trillion dollars. This data should be the starting point for major changes and investment in cybersecurity, which is the foundation of our online protection. Cybercriminals attacks have a negative impact not only on the company’s finances but especially on its reputation. The threat may come from factors related to dangerous software, viruses, or phishing attacks. It may also appear when we do not pay close attention to the verification of users of our services.

One of the most dangerous malware defeated

It cannot be denied that there is more and more talk about cybersecurity, crimes related to online activities and hacker attacks. Earlier this year, the FBI and Europol announced that they have successfully taken down one of the most dangerous malware botnet – Emotet. It was used by criminals and could send approximately one hundred thousand infected emails a day. First noticed as a banking Trojan in 2014, it has evolved multiple times over the years and has played a key role in some of the largest cyber attacks.

Big corporations vs. cybercriminals

Also, the attacks by ransomware gangs have been very intensified in recent months. In February, we learned about a hacking attack on the Polish game developer CD Projekt Red. Hackers managed to get codes for the developer’s most popular games, but they also threatened to share documents and data from administration, accounting, and investor relations departments. The attack harmed CD Projekt’s reputation, which was already tarnished by the earlier unsuccessful premiere of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 game. In late April, another gang of cybercriminals demanded money for the stolen information, this time from Apple. Hackers maintain that they have acquired the plans and designs for the company’s latest devices. Interestingly, the target of the attack was Quanta Computer, which is a supplier to Apple but also cooperates with Lenovo, Cisco, and Microsoft. Quanta has neither confirmed nor denied the alleged scale of the attack, but the effects can be painful for her clients. Apple’s reputation, which has so far prided itself on its excellent data and supply chain security, is particularly likely to suffer.

Small businesses are the main target of cybercriminals

These examples are cases of large companies and corporations that often have properly implemented security procedures and have resources to deal with losses after attacks. However, it is small businesses that are the main target of cybercriminals due to their easy-to-hack or complete lack of security. 43% of attacks are aimed at small enterprises. In addition, smaller businesses have the highest rate of unsafe email received – 1 in 323 is infected. Much depends on the type of business. 93% of healthcare organizations have experienced a data leak in the last three years. Since 2018, financial organizations have been paying the most for cybercrime. A new branch of banking, neobanks are also a target for cybercriminals. Due to the fact that the regulators are still catching up with the changing world of banking, neobanks remain unregulated and less secure. Proper identity verification in digital banking can significantly improve the security for new customers but also save neobanks from reputational damage. In the e-commerce industry, along with the increase in sales in the time of Covid-19, the number of cyberattacks on marketplaces has also been growing. According to a study by Red Points, 41% of marketplaces have seen an increase in cybercrime during pandemic and 68% consider the fight with cybercrime a very important part of their business. The primary tool to support these efforts is the identity verification service for marketplaces. 

The basics are the most important

When starting to think about cybersecurity companies, and institutions should develop a special plan allowing effective security procedures and implementation of employees. According to statistics, 95% of data breaches appear because of mistakes that people make. Training for employees helps to reduce the risk to some extent and is a good introduction to further activities. It is also good to take care of the basic forms of cybersecurity like appropriate anti-viruses, secure passwords, or data backups. On average, only 5% of companies have properly secured folders, which means that almost half of unauthorized employees have access to them. Although such basic protection seems obvious, many smaller companies and institutions still do not have it. Without a solid foundation, you can’t move on with cybersecurity because any deficiencies can cause leaks.

How can identity verification save your business?

What if our priority is to protect the user while protecting our own company and its interests? The most effective here is identity verification. This process allows customers to be verified in real-time and to check their documents to make sure they are who they say they are. Properly implemented KYC processes allow you to eliminate the threats associated with fraudsters at an early stage. Knowing your customer builds greater trust and peace of mind not only in companies that know who they are dealing with but also in the customers themselves who feel safer. 

Many small firms and enterprises do not attach great importance to the issue of identity verification. They suppose that it has a high cost and feels that it isn’t necessary at this stage. There is also a perception that the company is too small to attract cybercriminals. Taking a closer look at the statistics and the growing threats from cybercriminals targeting smaller companies and startups, it is worth considering how damaging the effects of lack of adequate protection can be. Frauds involving synthetically created identity, stolen and counterfeit documents, and fraud involving the use of deep fake technology have increased. The methods of criminals have become more sophisticated, so you need appropriate methods to defend yourself against them. 

Cybercriminals are largely opportunists, waiting for security holes, errors related to lack of employee training, or insufficient customer verification procedures. If you haven’t implemented cybersecurity plans for your business yet, it’s time to get started. At Fully-Verified, we will help you implement a simple, fast and secure identity verification process that will protect your company from cybercriminals, providing a new quality of cybersecurity.

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Fully-Verified was created as answer to its founders collectively losing over $150 000 to various types of fraud in their eCommerce businesses.