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5 Reasons Why Cybercriminals Attack

February 01, 20242 min read

As technology advances, so do the methods cybercriminals use to attack businesses. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency reported that 65% of Americans have had their personal information exposed by cybercriminals. The ransom payments to get their information back haven’t been cheap either, racking up to an average of $170,400 in 2021 according to Sophos. Most of the time, those who pay the ransom don’t even get their data back. 

In the last couple of years, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the vulnerability brought to workplaces globally to attack. According to Forbes, ransomware attacks are up as much as 148% because of the increase of working remotely. These gaps in your cybersecurity give room to attackers to get into your network.  

There’s no disputing that cyberattacks are increasing, but what motivates these bad actors to steal data? Let’s review the five main motives of cybercriminals.  

5 Reasons Why Cyberattacks Happen  

1. Financial Gain 

Financial gain is typically the primary motivation for a cyberattack. When attackers get into your system, they can gain direct access to your bank accounts, steal login information to your financial sites, and transfer assets over to their own. According to a 2020 Verizon report, 86% of data breaches were financially motivated.  

2. Recognition 

When it comes to cybercriminals, some work in hacking groups while others work independently. These attackers have a desire to be recognized for their wrongdoings. As humans, we’re competitive by nature, which drives cybercriminals to complete more complicated hacks.  

3. Insider Threats 

Insider threats account for 15% of data breaches. These threats come from internal employees, vendors, contractors or a partner who has access to information or systems of their organization. Insider threats are viewed as one of the greatest cybersecurity threats to businesses.  

4. Politics 

Some cybercriminals can be motivated by a current political cause or go up against groups whose views don’t align with their own. A common attack these criminals use is a distributed denial of service attack, which overloads a website with too much traffic and causes it to crash.  

5. State Actors 

State actors engage in cybercrimes to help their own nation. They steal information such as intellectual property, personal information, money to fund or further espionage. Some of these actors will conduct a cyberattack and claim that their actions are justifiable in favor of whoever they work for.   


Now that you’re aware of the motivations of a cybercriminal, you can get a better idea on ways you could be improving your cybersecurity at your business. It’s crucial that you’re protecting your assets, that way you can avoid situations like data breaches. 

If you’re looking to ramp up your cybersecurity measures, consider partnering with an MSP. WTA Consulting is ready to help. We’ll assess the current state of your security and determine solutions to continue keeping your business secure and protected. 

A thorough security assessment is what your business needs. Schedule one with us today.

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