The Three Priority Cybercrime Threats

  • Data breach
  • Ransomware, and
  • Email based funds transfer frauds (also known as CEO fraud, or business email compromise, BEC).
Three Priority Cybercrime Threats

Data breaches

A data breach is an unauthorized access to confidential data. A cybercriminal that breaks into an email account, network, or stored data. This breach can have many negative effects, require notification to government and affected parties, damage reputation, and more. There are many ways a cybercriminal can breach an information system to access and steal data.


Ransomware locks computer systems making them unusable. The cybercriminal uses malware and encryption to encode data and then extorts the victim to pay a significant ransom to try regain access to systems and data. Business disruption can be immense, reputational harm follows, and organizations need to evaluate if a data breach occurred.

Email based funds transfer frauds

Cybercriminals steal funds large and small through their clever abuse of email communication. This can create fiscal devastation. Large payments can be diverted and stolen. The funds may never be recovered, are not insured, and litigation and other disruption ensue. This fraud is sometimes called CEO or CxO) fraud (when executives are impersonated to engineer a funds transfer) or business email compromise (BEC) when businesses are impersonated to engineer a fraudulent transfer. Criminals use many techniques to attempt and succeed with these frauds. Organizations need to evaluate if email systems were accessed, and if a data breach occurred.


The way to protect against these three priority cybercrimes is through good cybersecurity, and that starts with knowledge and proceeds through effective steps and good decisions to plan, protect, and prevent cybercrime. This can start with my Four Pillars of Cybersecurity. Organizations and individuals can evaluate their risks and plan for continual improvement.


I provide more details on each of the crimes and how to protect against them in the links below.

Additional reading and resources

More information on the three priority cybercrime threats:



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John Bandler

John Bandler

Cybersecurity, cybercrime prevention, privacy, law, more. Attorney, consultant, author, speaker, teacher. Find me at