Survey Says: Cybercrime on the Rise

Cybercrime is on the rise, and the organizations affected by these offenses are simply not equipped to compete with hackers in terms of "persistence and technological prowess," according to the 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, the results of which were released on Wednesday.

According to the survey's key findings, incidents of cybercrimes have continued to increase in frequency and cost, in spite of cybersecurity efforts by U.S. organizations to counter such acts. Cybersecurity inadequacies may be traced back to failures to address "employee and insider vulnerability" and "security practices of third-party partners and supply chains." Survey findings also cited failures to invest in cybersecurity and failures to ensure cybersecurity measures align with overall business strategies. In the face of highly knowledgeable and persistent hackers using technologically advanced hardware and software, cybersecurity is simply falling short and U.S. organizations are paying the ultimate price.

This 12th annual cybercrime survey was co-sponsored by PwC, the CERT® Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, CSO magazine and the United States Secret Service and was carried out by surveying 500 U.S. business executives, law enforcement services and government agencies.

Three out of four survey respondents reported security breaches in the past year, with the average number of security intrusions equaling 135 per organization. The types of incidents most frequently reported were: malware, phishing, network interruption, spyware, denial-of-service attacks, financial fraud, and unauthorized access to information, systems or networks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also reported that the agency notified 3,000 U.S. companies that they had been the victims of cyber intrusions last year.

In 2013, 7% of U.S. companies lost $1 million or more due to cybercrime, as compared to 3% of organizations across the planet. 19% of U.S. companies reported losses of $50,000 to $1 million, compared to 8% of global organizations – according to the 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey. These numbers show that U.S. companies have sustained greater losses and are therefore more vulnerable to cybercrime than companies in other countries.

The U.S. Director of National Intelligence ranked cybercrime as the top threat to national security, above even terrorism, espionage and weapons of mass destruction. The amount of attention being placed on cybercrime has resulted in special state and federal task forces being charged with the investigation and prosecution of internet and computer crimes. Penalties for cybercrimes are also severe, with the potential for years in state or federal prison if a defendant is convicted. Law enforcement and prosecutors alike are vigilant in their efforts to stop cybercrime.

Criminal Defense for Internet and Computer Crimes

Countering criminal investigations and challenging criminal charges involving alleged cybercrimes can be extremely complex. These are technologically advanced areas that require computer forensic experts and other professionals who can build a strong and strategic defense against efforts by law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys. At times, cybercrime investigations may be carried out for months or even years as state or federal investigators work to build a case against a suspect. It is crucial to counteract such measures with legal representation of your own.

Only a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about cybercrime charges will be able to provide the level of legal counsel you need in the face of these matters. If you would like to find out more about Lessem & Newstat, our experience and how we may be able to help you, please call for a confidential consultation. We cannot stress enough the importance of involving a criminal lawyer early in the process, even before charges have been filed. Call today to discuss your case.