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Causes and Effects of Cyber Crime

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Nadiah Salman

on 17 February 2014

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Transcript of Causes and Effects of Cyber Crime

Causes and Effects of Cyber Crime
Causes of Cyber Crime
As is the case with many crimes committed outside the Internet, money is a major motivator for many cyber criminals. Especially because the dangers of criminality are less apparent when you're hiding behind a network, the perception of low risk and very high financial reward prompts many cyber criminals to engage in malware, phishing, identity theft and fraudulent money request attacks. Businessweek estimates that cyber crimes targeting online banking accounts alone, for example, pull in nearly 700 million dollars per year globally.

After financial companies like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal refused to let account and card holders make contributions to the controversial non-profit WikiLeaks, the "hacktivist" group Anonymous coordinated a series of bot attacks on the companies' servers, rendering them unreachable to Internet users. These kinds of attacks are conducted for perceived ethical, ideological or moral reasons, damaging or disabling computer equipment and networks to express grievances against individuals, corporations, organizations or even national governments.

Beyond the causes that motivate criminals, the environment in which cyber crime is committed also serves to explain the prevalence of the phenomenon. While more and more personal and sensitive information is stored online -- increasing the potential rewards for cyber criminals -- neither computer security nor applications like email filters have improved dramatically in terms of coverage. According to the anti-virus manufacturer Norton, for example, as many as 41 percent of computers did not have up-to-date security protection in 2012.

Cyber criminals are still human beings and what they do -- including their crimes -- is often the cause of personal emotions and vendettas. From the disgruntled employee installing a virus on office computers to a jealous boyfriend hacking into a girlfriend's social media accounts or a teenager taking down a school website just to prove that he could do it, many cyber crimes are essentially crimes of passion committed over the Internet. Many of these crimes, however, can still have very serious impacts and cause considerable property damage.

Effects of Cyber Crime
The effects of a single, successful cyber attack can have far-reaching implications including financial losses, theft of intellectual property and loss of consumer confidence and trust. The overall monetary impact of cyber crime on society and government is estimated to be billions of dollars a year.
Effects of Cyber Crime
Loss Of Revenue
One of the main effects of cyber crime on a company is a loss of revenue. This loss can be caused by an outside party who obtains sensitive financial information, using it to withdraw funds from an organization. It can also occur when a business's e-commerce site becomes compromised--while inoperable, valuable income is lost when consumers are unable to use the site.
Wasted Time
Another major effect or consequence of cyber crime is the time that is wasted when IT personnel must devote great portions of their day handling such incidences. Rather than working on productive measures for an organization, many IT staff members spend a large percentage of their time handling security breaches and other problems associated with cyber crime.
Damaged Reputations
In cases where customer records are compromised by a security breach associated with cyber crime, a company's reputation can take a major hit. Customers whose credit cards or other financial data become intercepted by hackers or other infiltrators lose confidence in an organization and often begin taking their business elsewhere.
Reduced Productivity
Due to the measures that many companies must implement to counteract cyber crime, there is often a negative effect on employees' productivity. This is because, due to security measures, employees must enter more passwords and perform other time-consuming acts in order to do their jobs. Every second wasted performing these tasks is a second not spent working in a productive manner.
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