Attacks and hacks: Argentine SMEs lose millions a year to the rise of cybercrime

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The cyber attack on the Farmalink network, which has turned Argentine pharmacies and their customers upside down since last Thursday, brings to the fore a problem that has gained relevance in recent times: that of cyber security threats, or rather to its failures. Global damages associated with cybercrime will reach $30 billion this year.

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In Argentina, public and private sector companies appear to be the most exposed and SMEs are the most vulnerable. Cybersecurity specialist Gabriel Zurdo said: “We have seen a snapshot of the pandemic of cases in the industries of fweapons, laboratories, medical entities and education which coincidentally were the ones that had full connectivity.” At the same time, he added: “We believe this is the year of the consolidation of cybercrime as an industry“.

Zurdo shows numbers that support it and that debunk the cybercriminals not like “lone wolves” or “isolated hackers” but as a member of a highly organized industry which is already moving between 10,000 and 12,000 million dollars a year.

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The big problem when taking an x-ray of this phenomenon is this most cases go unreported: “Many companies end up not recognizing what’s happening to them, and that doesn’t generate learning capabilities,” Zurdo explained.

The most common organized attacks are those of ransomware, involving a malware, which generally arrives via email, enters an organization’s systems, locks and encrypts them, and asks in exchange for the data “a ransom”.

“We registered cases of this type in Argentina last year only 100. We believe there are many more. Of course, that’s hard for a company, an internal auditor, or a member of senior management to say ‘they kidnapped me and I could not resist the attack’ Lefty said.

There are constant attempts to breach the gateways of systems, either to steal money, lock down systems and hold ransoms, or to steal that organization’s data. “Today information is raw materialis resold on the market. And then there’s the question of loss of profit, which has a reputational affectation that most organizations shy away from,” Zurdo said.

It is estimated that in the world One million passwords are stolen every week. Even if companies invest in preventing these types of accidents, the probability of remaining unharmed is low. “Of all this universe of crimes, those associated with ransomware are the spearhead, the most visible,” she said. There are six such attacks per minute.

In all serious accidents, the key factor was the human being“explained Zurdo. In half of the ransonware cases registered last year, the entrance door was possible from a credential theft. Through techniques of phishingthe attackers succeeded deceive a member of the organization provide basic data.

The trend is exponential: currently there are some in the world 30 billion devices connected to the Internet, between computers, cell phones, security cameras, and household appliances. By 2033 that number will have risen to 200 billion. From pacemakers to children’s calls can be hacked and home and business alarm systems, though 60% of cyber crimes today are done using a smartphone.


Source: Clarin

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