May 17, 2021
In the last few years, so much data – personal, financial, transactional, confidential – has leaked onto the web that cybercrime has become a key societal issue. In 2020, exacerbated by the pandemic-induced mass exodus to remote work, the number of cyberattacks exponentiated, resulting in leaks of hundreds of millions of records.
According to the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report, 26% of US companies have been hit with a data breach within the past year. 28% of breaches involved small businesses (Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report). Many large enterprises, among them tech giants, have suffered from reputation damage, financial losses, or drops in stock prices due to loss of trust in Wall Street and other markets.
In 2020, ransomware infection rates began to drop but what’s more worrying is that almost half of the victims – mostly businesses – paid the ransom. These ransomware attacks cumulatively cost billions of dollars. According to the University of Maryland, every 39 seconds hackers attack computers and networks.
At the same time, digital marketplaces have become larger than ever and this includes dark web markets too. Some of these markets claim 1 million visitors each month (Armor Dark Market Report 2020) and billions of dollars in sales over the last few years.
Cybercrime and security: How prepared are organizations?
It takes months or even longer to discover 60% of data breaches (Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report). And on average, it takes 280 days to contain a breach (IBM 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report). The magnitude of the situation has made many companies turn to governments and international bodies for protective legislation, and law enforcement for cyber intelligence.
To prevent cybercrime and cyber threats, agencies and investigators must go through vast amounts of data continuously and act in a timely manner. Given the statistics, we presented above, and the speed with which things happen on the internet, this is simply, humanly, not possible. This is where AI-powered automated intelligence solutions come in. These cyber investigation tools and solutions make investigations faster, simpler, and more accurate.
And it isn’t only law enforcement that has turned to open source threat intelligence tools for cybersecurity footprinting, criminal background investigations, and digital forensics. Many companies have begun to act proactively, leveraging open-source intelligence tools and dark web monitoring to be ahead of criminals and prevent data and financial loss.
What is open source intelligence?
Open source intelligence (also known as OSINT) is a thorough methodology for collecting information from published or publicly available sources. This information can be essential for corporate and governmental cybersecurity and can help detect potential fraud, data breaches, phishing scams, ransomware, and other issues before it’s too late.
A good OSINT tool such as those provided by Cobwebs Technologies can help organizations to identify vulnerabilities, understand the accessibility of sensitive information, and prevent breaches before they materialize. To a fast-growing and daunting cybercriminal culture, AI is the most effective answer.