In an ongoing series of articles, we will cover the various terms used in cybersecurity. Since 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic has reshaped how we work, shop, interact and conduct everyday business. According to IBM, the pandemic has accelerated the consumer shift away from physical stores to online shopping by five years. A study from HP reported that global cyberattacks have risen 238 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.
The global shift to cyberspace has created numerous opportunities for criminals. For tech-savvy offenders, cyberspace contains enormous potential for profit. An additional benefit is that compared to traditional street crimes, cybercrimes include no physical confrontation, minimal risk of harm for the offender, a challenge for law enforcement, which means little likelihood the offender will be caught and prosecuted, and a significant loss for the victim. One report suggests that global cybercrime produces more revenue than the illegal drug trade. An additional challenge is that cybercriminals have a wide range of targets, including individuals shopping or paying bills online, companies that store personal information, government agencies, and critical infrastructures, such as the power grid and supply chain. We will look at some of the basic methods cybercriminals use and provide practical approaches you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.