Cybersecurity and Cybercrime – knowing the difference!

14 Nov

We have often focused on ways in which to bolster cybersecurity to ensure that you don’t become a victim of identity theft or data breach (in a corporate environment). Sadly, not enough attention is given to cybercrime which usually affects individuals and families by preying on their emotions.

What sets cybersecurity and cybercrime apart?

In order to truly understand the difference between cybersecurity and cybercrime we need to take the time to compare the two types of online instances/interactions, who it affects, what it involves, and how it can be avoided. In a nutshell:

  • Cybersecurity

This is the type of online crime where computer networks, software and hardware are targeted with viruses, ransomware and malware. The prime victims of these crimes are corporate organisations and governments. To understand viruses, ransomware and malware threats, computer science, engineering and IT methodologies must be applied. To safeguard against these types of cybersecurity threats, the intellectual focus must be on coding, network security and networking.

  • Cybercrime

Cybercrime targets the individual who is lured into an online relationship of one sort or another such as romance scams, child pornography, cyberbullying, sexting, and similar. In order to understand these particular types of cybercrime scams, one must have experience in criminology, sociology and psychology. In order to safeguard against such cybercrime, one must have a deeper understanding of why people commit crimes of these types which often prey on people’s emotions.

A Typical Example of Cybercrime

A young lady in an unhappy relationship might fall into the trap of forming an online connection or “relationship” with a seemingly nice, genuine and supportive man online. While the communications continue, she will find that he says all the right things and provides the kind of support that she is not getting in her current relationship.

With her emotions and vulnerabilities exposed, it’s now easy for the person posing as a genuine friend online to foster a money scam by mentioning perhaps a financial problem, business opportunity or similar. Cybersecurity in this instance can do little to help.

This is similar to the numerous online romance scams that seem to have swept the globe recently. There’s not much that a complex password or two-factor authentication can do to protect a person against victimisation when they are vulnerable and trusting. It is these vulnerabilities that further complicate the task of protecting people.

The three stages of cybercrime

The type of cybercrime that preys on vulnerabilities and emotions (such as romance scams) typically have 3 stages to them:

  • Stage 1: Online criminal starts engaging with the victim and providing emotional support and comfort.
  • Stage 2: By being in constant contact with the victim, the criminal occupies a lot of their time and during this stage, interdependence and a sense of “having a connection” is formed.
  • Stage 3: The final stage is typically when the victim sees through the charade and suspects foul play or fraud. By this stage, it’s already too late!

What needs to be done to eliminate cybercrime?

It is acknowledged that more needs to be learned about the nature of cybercrime and who commits it in order to safeguard against it. Research must be done to assist students and investigators to better understand how such social science takes place online. Victims would be able to better identify and protect themselves if they knew what to look out for. Educating and creating an awareness of this type of crime should be a number one priority.

Don’t be left wanting or vulnerable to any kind of cybercrime. Get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud to step up your online security and keep in touch with all the latest news, tips and advice by signing up to our newsletter today.

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