The Single Most Important Question To Ask Your Lawyer, Accountant, or Other Professional

2020 marked a record year for cybercriminals. The global economy lost close to $3 trillion to cybercrime, with a growing number of attacks being directed at individual consumers. Below is a look at the growing incidence of cybercrime and the single most important question to ask to help protect yourself from cybercrime.

Why is cybercrime on the rise?

“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19.”Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General

Cybercrime has been steadily increasing since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009. But cybercrime exploded in 2020, increasing by 63% as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. There are three key reasons for the marked increase in cybercrime:

  • Cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to steal information
  • Individual consumers increased their online activity during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Employees and individuals are engaging in human error and falling prey to phishing tactics

Who is at risk for cybercrime?

Everyone. While this answer may seem grim, cybersecurity experts agree that individual people are just as apt to be targets of cybercrime as large enterprises. Even the world’s largest corporations are at risk, with IBM Security’s Heather Ricciuto telling, “Honestly we’re all at risk, whether you’re talking about a large enterprise or an individual.”

Why are cybercriminals going after individual consumers?

“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19.” – Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General

Cybercriminals have discovered that going after individual consumers can be more lucrative. Until recently, most cyberattacks targeted businesses. But now, hackers and cyber thieves are shifting their focus to individual people. While the amount of money stolen from each individual person may seem relatively small, the total amount of money can add up quickly if cybercriminals steal the private information of thousands of patients or clients.

What types of businesses do cybercriminals target to steal your information?

Accounting firms, law firms, medical practices, and many other types of businesses that store client information are all at risk. Cybercriminals target businesses of all sizes, and no industry is immune.

What is the single most important question to ask any company you do business with?

                           “How are you going to protect my personal information?”

This simple question can go a long way toward protecting the identity, finances, and personal security of your customers. You should ask this question anytime you visit an accountant, medical office, lawyer, or any other type of business that requires personal information. If the business representative refuses to answer your question, or provides an incomplete or unsatisfactory answer, you should strongly consider taking your business elsewhere.

What can you do today to protect your business and customers from cybercrime?

As a business owner, it’s ultimately up to you to do everything you can to protect your business and your customers from cyberattacks. Through awareness, education, and trusted IT security support, you can help stop cyber thieves in their tracks. Here are three things you can do today to begin actively combating cybercrime at your business:

  • Schedule a security assessment with a trusted IT service provider
  • Educate your employees about the increase in cybercrime and the common symptoms of cyberattacks
  • Update your policy and procedures on protecting customer information

We invite you to contact us at Corptek to schedule your security assessment. For over 15 years, business owners across Dallas and Fort Worth have trusted us to protect their companies and customers from cybercriminals. We look forward to the opportunity to help your organization combat cybercrime!