Most business owners have been exposed to cybercrime during the past ten years and the rate of attack by these criminals increases daily. Cybercrime includes phishing and spamming, and those performing the criminal act are referred to as “hackers.” Cybercrime is sometimes referred to as “computer crime.” Although cybercrime is a relatively new phenomenon, many of the same offenses that can be committed with a computer or smart phone, including theft, were formerly committed in person prior to the computer age.

Hacking computers is a multibillion dollar industry according to the experts and it is important to recognize that defending against cybercrime is not simply a matter of changing a password every 90 days or building stronger walls around the information. The real challenge is developing best practices that include educating employees on how the attacks might occur so that they are on the alert at all times. Using more complicated passwords and avoiding the temptation to click on an email from an unknown source is essential to defending against hacking and other forms of cybercrime.

The strategies being employed by institutions, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to deal with cybercrime now involves consultation with psychologists, psychiatrists and economists in an effort to gain an understanding of the hacker’s approach and how they bait the computer user to opening channels in the system for assault. To learn more about protecting yourself or your organization against cybercrime, click on the Stop.Think.Connect Resource Guide, prepared in coordination with the DHS, or contact PLDO Managing Principal Gary R. Pannone at 401-824-5100 or [email protected]. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.