Cybercrime-as-a-Service: What It Is, and How to Protect your Business


Cybercrime-as-a-service isn’t new. It’s an ever-present issue that continuously impacts organizations across industries around the world. It’s the way the criminal world works: if there’s a way to make money off of something, the bad guys will take advantage of it.

What is cybercrime-as-a-service?

“Cybercrime-as-a-service” covers a wide variety of tools and services that bad actors can buy or rent to launch cyberattacks. It includes everything from sharing knowledge of previously undiscovered vulnerabilities in commercial software applications (for use in Zero Day attacks) to full-scale fraud-as-a-service platforms that come complete with, believe it or not, quality assurance and help desk support. All of this (and more) is readily available for purchase on underground forums.

As the Dark Web has grown, it has enabled would-be cybercriminals to sell customized malware, prepackaged exploit kits and even the software and computing power needed to launch a readymade ransomware attack to anyone looking to pull off a cybercrime. And, the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has made paying for these tools and services easier than ever.

The rise of cybercrime-as-a-service also means that taking part in criminal activities online no longer requires technical sophistication. Like a mafioso hiring a hit man, anyone who wants to make a quick buck online by launching a cyberattack can do it- no coding expertise required.  

What does cybercrime-as-a-service’s popularity mean for your business’s risk profile?

In recent years, advances in technology ranging from automation to user-friendly dashboards and interfaces have made life easier for security professionals. Unfortunately, the same thing is true on the black hat side — you can now access tools that will let you launch ransomware attacks for less than a thousand dollars a month.

Usually, attacks like this type are neither novel nor exceptionally sophisticated. What they are is easy to carry out. Cybercrime-as-a-service has removed most of the barriers to entry to the world of cybercrime, so that would-be attackers – including people with backgrounds in other types of crime – with few technical skills can carry out a larger volume of malicious activities than ever before.

How can I protect my organization?

Defending against these attacks doesn’t require a radically different strategy than defending against attacks perpetrated by the criminals who originally developed the malware.

Following basic IT hygiene and cybersecurity best practices remains the most important step that organizations can take to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. We recommend businesses:

  • Know what you have and keep track of it. An accurate inventory of hardware and software is a building block for determining how to protect it.
  • Conduct security awareness training for employees.
  • Patch systems and applications right away. Unpatched systems are one of the biggest risks to a business’s security.
  • Regularly assess your organization’s security posture.
  • Monitor your entire organization for security anomalies and be ready to respond accordingly.

Relatively simple steps like these can all go a long way toward helping to improve your business’ risk profile.

The fact that more attacks are currently being carried out by unsophisticated bad actors relying on simple, easy-to-use tools makes adhering to these cybersecurity best practices more important than ever. Usually, the criminals are looking for the fastest way to make money so if you put even one or two obstacles in their way, they’ll turn their attention to an easier victim.

How likely is your organization to become a target for a cybercriminal attack? We can help you figure that out and help identify steps to take to improve your security posture and reduce your risk. Learn more about our proactive approach to penetration testing, red- and purple-teaming, and comprehensive threat and vulnerability assessment by scheduling a free consultation today.

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