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Cybercrime damages caused an estimated $8.4 trillion total loss in 2022. In 2023, security experts predict that this number will exceed $11 trillion and go even further than $20 trillion by 2026.

These cybercriminals even attacked the heavily-guarded systems of Facebook and Google, costing these two companies $100 million in 2017. This incident might make you wonder: if even these tech giants are vulnerable to malicious cyberattacks, then your organization may also be at high risk of becoming the next target.

As cybercriminals become more aggressive in their attacks and more sophisticated in their methods, having a security solution to protect your company may not be enough. It’s a great advantage if you have substantial knowledge of how these cybercriminals operate, particularly those who offer their services to attack a target intentionally.

Cybercrime-as-a-service (CCaaS) is a growing illegal scheme worldwide that big and small enterprises need to be aware of and know how to protect themselves from falling prey to this type of attack.

What is Cybercrime-as-a-Service?

Cybercrime-as-a-Service is a business scheme in which cybercriminals, malware developers, and other threat experts offer their tools, knowledge, and services to people who intend to launch cyberattacks but cannot do so themselves.

CCaaS emerged from the underground marketplaces that sell malware and offer malware development. It initially started from the popularity of ransomware, a type of malware that allows an individual to block an organization’s access to their system until the targets grant a certain amount to the attackers.

The continuous operations of these schemes gradually normalize these dangerous and damaging attacks that disrupt healthy competition among sectors. With this, companies across all industries are expected to invest more in their cybersecurity efforts, possibly affecting overall operations and finances.

Types of Cybercrime-as-a-Service

In the last decade, cybercriminals continued these transactions until the for-hire scheme broadened the scope of services. These different types of cybercrime are now available as services.

1. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

RaaS is often a subscription-based project that allows an individual to purchase a ready-made ransomware toolkit.

2. Hacking-as-a-Service

Hacking-as-a-Service is a comprehensive offer of commissioned hacking, including technical support, storage of stolen data, and tutorials on required knowledge and skills to conduct a cybercrime attack.

3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service

This type of CCaaS is also known as botnets leasing. A robot network or botnet refers to a group of interconnected and malware-infected devices under the control of a single “bot-herder.”

Cybercriminals put these botnets for lease when a client intends to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or any other cyberattack. A DDoS attack is when a bad actor bombards a website, online service, network resource, or host machine with massive traffic to make the target unavailable to its target internet audience.

4. Phishing-as-a-Service

Phishing is a cybercrime method of generating sensitive data from target internet users, such as bank account numbers and card information. Phishing attacks involve sending emails and text messages embedded with malicious links, enabling illegal entry to devices and other networks.

Phishing-as-a-service is among the most common forms of CCaaS. Across the globe, organizations reported an 81% increase in email phishing attacks they encountered since March 2020.

5. Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS)

Like RaaS, MaaS is the illegal sale and purchase of ready-made malware for cyberattacks. One common type in these transactions is modular malware, a more invasive and threatening kind.

MaaS may also include the commercialization of exploit kit markers, enabling buyers to launch malware campaigns and install malicious advertisements to the target.

6. Spam-as-a-Service (SaaS)

While most spam emails and messages come off as merely annoying and time-consuming, they pose significant threats, especially those sent out for phishing or email spoofing.

These spam messages may contain links that will allow a hacker entry once you click. Other times, these emails pose as messages from established companies urging you to take action, such as sending a payment.

Dangers of Cybercrime-as-a-Service

The increasing number of cyberattacks against organizations continues to impact several aspects of these victim institutions, generating the following effects:

1. Financial loss

A company loses an average of $200,000 for every successful cyberattack taken against them, which can affect their viability.

Individuals connected to these companies may also suffer financial losses from cyberattacks. In 2021, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received almost 850,000 reports of cybercrime attacks resulting in more than $6.9 billion in financial losses.

2. Added security costs

The increasing number of cases of cyberattacks and the rising demand for CCaaS in recent years have prompted companies to invest more in robust security measures, adding to overall operational costs.

In 2019, 6% of companies paid $381 million to counter ransomware attacks and protect their data from being disclosed. Establishing an excellent ransomware response reduces the risk of financial loss and further damage; however, be prepared for the added expenses.

3. Data breach and compromise

Aside from the threat of finding customers’ sensitive data in the hands of cybercriminals, these attackers also put out a company’s set of important files in public, posing the risk of disclosing property information.

For instance, 22 billion records were made public due to data breaches in 2021. Therefore, a robust data storage resource is essential to avoid serious threats like data breaches.

4. Reputational damage

A cybercrime attack against your company also affects your relationship with your clients and target market, particularly impacting your existing and potential client’s trust in you and your enterprise. Although you can’t quantify the value of trust, you may experience a loss in sales, consequently reducing your profit.

In addition, cyberattacks against your organization may also taint your reputation with your suppliers and other third-party connections and may even reduce your company’s market value if not sorted out immediately.

5. Operation disruption

Another impact these cyberattacks have on your brand is disrupting your operations. These attacks interrupt your commercial and internal procedures, as some may take a while to be mitigated. As a result, the time lost to these attacks costs you operational delays, leading to revenue loss.

6. Legal repercussions

The presence of data protection and privacy laws also endangers your organization once cybercriminals launch a successful attack. When investigations prove that you failed to take the appropriate steps to establish security or address any attack, your company may suffer legal consequences.

Ways to Prevent Cybercrime-as-a-Service Attacks

Despite the alarming existence of these CCaaS, there are still effective cybercrime prevention measures to safeguard your company and your clients from these different types of cybercrime attacks.

Before worrying about what to do if you’re a victim of cybercrime, you must take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. 

1. Keep your operating systems updated

Protect your organization from cyberattacks by constantly monitoring and scanning your systems regularly. Schedule penetration testing at regular intervals to identify gaps or concerns you might need to address.

These penetration tests are an excellent precautionary measure against aggressive CCaaS attacks. Once you identify any existing security weaknesses, address these immediately.

2. Invest in employee training

As 80% of data breaches occur due to human error, it’s equally important to train your employees, ensuring that they’re knowledgeable in identifying phishing attacks and spam messages and how to deal with them.

Your employee training may also include further assessment of your workforce as another precautionary measure against external and insider threats. Doing so will heighten your defense and ensure that while your systems and team are vulnerable to CCaaS attacks, they’re nevertheless protected.

3. Develop cybersecurity incident response plans

A cybersecurity incident response plan (CSIRP) is a form of cybercrime prevention resource that includes a series of guides for your employees on how to deal with any cyberattack. Establishing one for your organization is crucial to prevent your workforce from making significant errors and putting your company under investigation by legal authorities.

4. Use strong passwords

As methods of cyberattacks become more advanced and commercialized today, any form of protection helps your company stay guarded.

Using strong passwords for your system forms another layer of security. It prevents any possibility of a breach if cybercriminals get access to your company’s or employees’ information and attempt to enter your network illegally.

5. Implement multi-factor authentication

On top of using strong passwords that hackers can’t easily penetrate, establishing multi-factor authentication also protects your system. This step considers that human errors within your workforce may still occur.

Employing multi-factor authentication regulates identity and access management that supervises entry to your company’s sensitive information entry.

6. Monitor your bank statements

Regularly tracking your bank statements helps you spot any suspicious activities in your finances that might indicate a data breach or other cyberattack. Keep a record of all your financial transactions, and once you spot any foreign outflow, immediately inform your partner institution to take the necessary actions.

7. Stay Updated and Protected from CCaaS

CCaaS is a growing underground industry. While there’s not much you can do to wipe out these perpetrators, you can use cybercrime prevention measures to stay guarded against these different types of cybercrime.

Keeping your security systems monitored and updated, investing in employee training and assessment, developing your company’s CSIRP, and regulating effective authentication measures are just a few of these cybercrime prevention measures.

More importantly, learning about the different types of CCaaS and the risks they carry on your company allows you to better understand what you might have to prepare for and deal with if an attack occurs. 

Q5id’s proven identity solutions can add another layer of system protection. Learn more about Q5id and our security services for your enterprise when you contact us today.

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