Ian Butler, Head of EU Security and Customer Servicing Products
An estimated $600 billion is lost globally to cybercrime each year1, and as businesses, we spend a lot of time and money doing our best to prevent the impact of cybercrime on our business and the business of our customers.
So it would seem odd for anyone working in finance to look to cybercriminals for business lessons but the truth is the very best cybercriminals are as technologically sophisticated as many of the best IT companies.
#1: Cybercriminals have a clear mission
No, it’s not a well-written mission statement that appears in bold text at the top of a company website. But cybercriminals exist to make money. And having that clear goal allows them to put all their effort into achieving it. Why does your business exist? Is it to serve your customers, your shareholders, your employees?
#2: Cybercriminals adopt new technologies fast
Cybercriminals are agile and innovative. When a new technology arises, cybercriminals are among the first to adopt it and leverage it to make money. Blockchain? Check. Artificial intelligence? Check. Cloud computing? Check. If only fintech companies could move as fast. Early adoption of technology can deliver rapid results.
#3: Cybercriminals invest in talent
This doesn’t apply to your foreign princes emailing on a whim. But the very best cybercriminal organisations do invest a lot of time and money into upskilling their people, and engaging the best to work for them. In fintech, companies need to pay their own talent what they are worth, and invest in skills- and knowledge-based training for them to improve.
#4:Cybercriminals use competitor intelligence to their advantage
While cybercriminals may resort to bribery and blackmail for their competitor insight, we don’t need to do the same. Look at your industry. What are your competitors doing that you should be doing better? And how will you achieve it?
#5: Cybercriminals fail fast
Phishing emails, skimming devices, ransomware. Not everything works first time for cybercriminals. In business, you can do all the market research you want, put all of your quarterly budget towards it, and have entire teams work on it for months on end before you actually go ahead and do something or release a product. Or you could just put it out there, see if it works, and if it doesn’t, move on and try something different.
 'Economic Impact of Cybercrime – No Slowing Down' - McAfee 2018