Studies show that human error is the root cause of more than 80% of all cyber breaches, whether malicious or unintended. The recent debilitating cyberattacks on casino and resort giants MGM and Caesars are no exception. How can just one employee mishap cost a company millions?
According to Statista.com, the impact of cybercrime is expected to reach almost $13 trillion this year. Furthermore, it’s estimated that this sum will increase to nearly $24 trillion by 2027. Based on Ransomlooker, a free Cybernews tool for monitoring the dark web and other hidden areas of the internet, 64% of organizations have already suffered from a ransomware attack.
This is happening despite an exponential increase in organizational cyber training over the past decade. Not to mention the heightened cyber awareness and risk mitigation across businesses and industries. With 85% of campaigns targeting victims with phishing emails containing malicious links, another form of a social engineering attack, education and cyber vigiliance remain a high priority.
Why should employers educate employees about cyber security?
MGM has revealed that the September 11th attack – which forced an entire system shutdown, impacting all guest services and emptying casino floors for nearly a week – will cost the company upwards of $100 million in 3rd quarter profits. Caesars International allegedly forked over a $15 million ransom to the attackers to keep business operations afloat.
The ransom gangs behind the attacks – Scattered Spider and ALPHV/BlackCat – used the same social engineering tactic to gain unauthorized access to MGM’s and Caesars’ network systems. This method was identified as vishing – a voice-based phishing attack.
Caesars claimed that it had “identified suspicious activity in its information technology network resulting from a social engineering attack on an outsourced IT support vendor used by the Company.” The MGM attacks were almost identical to the social engineering attacks on Caesars, which targeted a third-party IT help desk.
The ease and success of these social engineering attacks illustrate how just one employee mishap can cost a company millions. Social engineering encompasses various methods that attackers can utilize to trick an employee into giving up sensitive information, allowing access to otherwise secure networks.
For large businesses, those costs may be a drop in the ocean. Still, for many small and mid-sized companies, the financial and reputational ramifications from a cyberattack can be devastating. Statistics have shown that nearly 60% of small businesses that suffer a significant breach are forced to shut down within the same year. Furthermore, based on findings from the Ransomlooker tool, 45% of the municipal victims were communities with fewer than 50K residents.
With that in mind, Cybernews has created a free tool that monitors ransomware groups’ extortion sites and delivers consolidated feeds of their claims worldwide. This tool provides real-time updates and actionable insights, offers various statistical insights into data, and the ability to determine attack perpetrators.
Here you 8 tips on how to protect yourself from social engineering
About the Author: Cybernews Team
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ransomware)