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Cybercrime and its Impact on Online Shopping

Posted by on August 29, 2016 in technology, websites

Cybercrime is one of the fastest spreading epidemics in our contemporary world. It has taken crime to a whole different, and an esteemed level.

It won’t be long before the public starts taking actions for themselves and online shoppers refuse to provide their sensitive data to the online businesses.

Customer loyalty is of paramount importance to every online business. Developing and maintaining this trust can be really taxing, especially if crime becomes a norm. With cybercriminals endangering the online businesses, the question is, how far do they have to go for causing this chaos actually?

The chief executive of twitter, Jack Dorsey, was the latest victim of cybercrime. The hackers, called OurMine Security, have previously targeted notable personalities like Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai and hacked into their respective accounts compromising the sanctity of Facebook and Google. The recent breach of Dorsey’s Twitter and Vine accounts reveals that they haven’t been spared either.


Despite the fact that these high-level cyber attacks are conducted for the sake of limelight, they exhibit the real threat to us – cybercrime is very much alive and kicking.


According to a potential survey, some businesses have experienced losses of $5 million due to theft of data, with others have reported thefts above $100 million. As scary as it sounds, the customer details are sacrificed as part of the collateral damage too!


As cybercrime has weakened the foundations of the global economy, affecting jobs, there is a predicted loss of $2.1 trillion till 2019. This crime based industry has a way greater profit margin than the businesses in other legitimate industries. Due to this, every time an online company’s security line tampers, the customer’s trust disintegrates.


Threat to Reputation


As mentioned above, businesses value the loyal relationship they create with their customers. In order to cement the customer’s faith in the business, it’s important that data security is given precedence over other matters.

Online customers have been skeptic about cybercrime from the start, however, most continue to take chances and make online purchases. Almost two-thirds of Americans make a minimum of one online purchase every month, according to Mintel. Thus, revealing that cybercrime affiliated concerns have begun to fade. However, the dissipation of these concerns unveils greater troubles to us; there is plenty that cybercriminals can exploit due to our continued negligence.

According to a report released by the US Government, 45% Americans have reduced their reliance on online shopping due to fears of theft of their personal information. Initially, larger companies are being targeted, however, the effects of this earthquake will eventually destroy the smaller businesses too.

It would be misleading to say that the online consumers are alone at risk. Second-hand iPhone buyers are other victims of cybercrime. Thus, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of this techno-crime threat and developing relations with companies that don’t breach this trust.


Steve Jobs’ company, Apple, worships the data privacy of its customers. Criticized for not assisting the Criminal Justice Department, Apple refused to unlock an iPhone 5 that belonged to a terrorist. Syed Farook, one of the gunmen from the San Bernardino shootings, was the accused owner of that gadget.

A glimpse of Apple’s confidentiality agreement (TOP SECRET) via


The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, made it evident that Apple would not be doing any such thing, as that would lead to a breach of its privacy policies. The company’s stringy laws on security can be accessed on their website, with a whole page dedicated to this topic. Protecting customer information means everything to them because trust is their biggest weapon!


Cook feels that he is not only being asked to breach customer trust, but also a significant portion of their marketing strategy which stands on trust. Although this campaign for data protection puts Cook in a not-so-good light, his actions reveal the lengths to which Apple will go to maintain customer trust.


The Emergence of Cybercrime Startups


Publicity hackers cater to their sinister desires by hacking important accounts. They want customer data protection from firms but wish to be paid for doing it. In this manner, cybercrime startups come into existence. No wonder this industry is growing so rapidly!


With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), more weak links are present in the connected ecosystem which facilitate the hackers. This, in turn, leads to exploitation of data. Resultantly, companies have centered their focus on attending security conferences – an attempt to avoid hiring hackers!


Although most companies are aware of the gravity of this situation, few are actually taking preventive actions. Companies like Apple are actively playing their part in data protection and coming transparent about it on all fronts.


Perhaps the most risked companies are banks and credit card firms. This is why they are being counseled to take actions sooner rather than later; to protect their customers before it is too late!


Not only banks, brands are also responsible for ensuring the sanctity of their businesses. In the case of a privacy breach, the brand’s reputation will be ruined not to mention the customer trust which will be crushed.


Protection from Cyberattacks


With the threat of cyberattacks closing in on the companies and their customers, it is not unusual to feel daunted. Especially if the threat is not seen coming! Taking network security seriously is the first step that a company can take. According to Binu Girija, Founder, and CEO of, “This development — two-factor or multi-factor verification — is a good place to start, strengthening the ways in which individuals and companies can prove identity without hindering the registration or log-in process significantly.”


Awareness is the key to recognizing, understanding and combatting the threat of cybercrime. If team members are unaware of the threats, they won’t be able to deal with them. It is important for the workers to know the source of these threats including phony logins and suspicious emails. To prevent any breaches, ongoing monitoring, incident management strategies and malware checks  can be conducted.

Ways to curb cybercrime via


According to Dr. William Agresti who’s a professor at John Hopkins Carey Business School, “Business leaders today are responsible for security both online and off, and poor management of this can affect an otherwise great career. We want to make sure our students are prepared as future business leaders.” This is why learning how to battle cybercrime is part of their MBA programs!


In the study by Ernst & Young on the Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, a five-step layout has been crafted which aims to help organizations rank ahead of cybercrime.


1. Design and implement a cyber threat intelligence strategy to support strategic business decisions and leverage the value of security.


2. Define and encompass the organization’s’ extended cybersecurity ecosystem, including partners, suppliers, services and business networks.


3. Take a cyber economic approach — understanding your vital assets and their value, and investing specifically in their protection.


4. Use forensic data analytics and cyber threat intelligence to analyze and anticipate where the likely threats are coming from and when increasing your readiness.


5. Ensure that everyone in the organization understands the need for strong governance, user controls, and accountability.


To cut the long story short (sorry for being late saying this), cybercrime is real and all around us. It’s imperative that companies take the necessary actions that prevent the violation of client confidentiality or else a lot will be lost!