The cybercrimes industry is expected cost business up to $6-trillion (R78-trillion) by 2021.
The statistic was mentioned by Paolo Passeri, Cisco’s consulting systems engineer for cloud security, at the Cisco Connect South Africa conference currently being held in Sun City.
Passeri told Fin24 in an interview that the multiple factors will contribute to the rise in cybercrimes in years to come, but the Internet of Things (IoT) was increasingly putting devices at risk.
“We used to think intellectual property was at risk. However the internet of things has put less traditional devices at risk,” Passeri told Fin24.
He mentions a recent case where a smart TV, powered by the Android operating system, was taken hostage by cybercriminals.
“Cybercriminals are using ransomware to encrypt data and demand money from owners of these devices,” he adds.
Passeri says that the same techniques used by cybercriminals on devices like computers were now being used across a range of devices from smartphones to home appliances connected to the internet.
“Some cybercriminals are gentle and will hold devices and data at ransom until users read a document about cyber-safety, while others have no honour and even after ransom has been paid, the user has no guarantee they will get their data back,” he says.
Passeri says that once hackers have user data they could do whatever they wanted as every attack was an opportunist’s lucrative way to make money with the same tools being used to repeat the attack.
“Everyone has something to lose. Security online begins with the user because the user is the gate and must be aware. Don’t open emails you don’t know and don’t click links that seem suspicious. Technology like tools from Cisco can help amend errors, but users still need to be careful when browsing.”
By Kyle Venktess for Fin24