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Cybercrime is a massive and growing problem that affects every facet of our lives. The consequences are enormous, ranging from disruption of business activities to the loss of personal data that can have significant financial implications for victims. In addition, companies can be forced to pay large fines and legal fees if they are found to have failed to protect customer information or have been the victim of an attack.

Despite popular depictions of hackers as being faceless and intangible, it isn’t hard to track down the perpetrators behind cyberattacks. Even though criminals can hide their identities by using fake online aliases, they often leave clues to their true identity in log files from firewalls, routers, network servers, IDSes and other devices. Following these clues from an attacked website back through intermediate service providers can lead investigators to the attacker’s computer.

While cyberattacks are often conducted to steal money or other valuable assets, the most important goal of a criminal attack is usually to disrupt a company’s operations. Whether it’s by attacking the power grid with ransomware or stealing customer data that leads to share price drops and lawsuits, cyberattacks can be devastating for businesses.

The most effective way to combat cyberattacks is with a defense-in-depth approach that includes strong password policies, regular software updates and careful screening of emails and other documents before they are opened. While no system can be 100% secure, a well-designed security strategy will greatly reduce the chance of an attack.