Understanding the Motives of a Cybercriminal: How the UK's National Crime Agency Keeps Track

As someone who believes in treating others the way you would want to be treated, it can be difficult to understand why anyone would be motivated to do otherwise. What's the fun in stealing from a stranger? Where's the joy in hurting someone online? Why go to such lengths to destroy someone's small business?

Are people in it for the "Lulz," or is there more to it than that?

To protect your business (and yourself) from the malicious intent of a cybercriminal, get cyber risk insurance with CyberPolicy. To learn more about the mind of a cybercriminal and how to stay one step ahead of the sting, keep reading-you're going to learn something new today.

A Little Talent Looking for Recognition

The United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA) has released findings on where, why and how hackers decide to pursue a life of cybercrime. The research findings, according to Security Magazine, "[are] based on debriefs with offenders and those on the fringes of criminality... [The research] emphasizes that financial gain is not necessarily a priority for young offenders. Instead, the sense of accomplishment at completing a challenge, and proving oneself to peers in order to increase online reputations are the main motivation for those involved in cyber criminality."

Do you remember how your folks would, when disciplining you for succumbing to peer pressure, ask: "Would you jump off a bridge if your friends told you to?" Well, in a way, young people playing with code are being pressured to use their skills for cyber malicious intent and are essentially jumping off the proverbial bridge.

During a cross-examination with an offender classified as 'Subject 7,' researchers learned that the offender (arrested for Computer Misuse Act and Fraud) was motivated to commit the crimes because, by the offender's own words, "it made [them] popular. [They] enjoyed the feeling... [they] looked up to those users with the best reputations."

When you're rewarded with praise and validation for something you have done, even if it's considered a crime, you're motivated to perform the act again.

What researchers with the NCA are trying to do is show young people with these talents how to use them for good. The research effort "presents an opportunity to divert young people away from a life of crime by proving greater opportunities to redirect their skills, the head of the National Cyber Crime Unit's Prevention team suggests." The Prevention team went further to say that "the aim of this assessment has been to understand the pathways offenders take, and identify the most effective intervention points to divert towards a more positive path."

Cybercriminals and Your Small Business

If you really want to protect the integrity of your data, you need to do two things:

  • Get cyber insurance
  • Hire IT personnel with a history of coding

By hiring someone who knows the ins-and-outs of coding and who can think the way a cybercriminal thinks, you'll be safeguarding your business. Getting a cyber insurance policy is the icing on the cake.

Protect your small business and other interests with a cyber risk insurance policy from CyberPolicy.

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