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  • Writer's pictureRoy Urrico

Cybersecurity Roundup: Stolen Data Consequences, Top State Cybercrime Targets

By Roy Urrico

Finopotamus aims to highlight white papers, surveys, analyses and reports that provide a glimpse as to what is taking place and/or impacting credit unions and other organizations in the financial services industry.

The following two cybersecurity reports focus on misuses of personal data and the states most victimized by cybercrime.

What Happens to Personal Info After a Data Breach?

Oliver Page, CEO of CyberNut,

From identity theft to financial fraud, the misuse of stolen data can have devastating consequences – but what exactly are those consequences? What do cybercriminals actually do with stolen data?

In the report, Oliver Page, CEO of CyberNut, a security awareness training solution, explains how cybercriminals exploit stolen data in various nefarious ways:

  • Identity theft. With access to personal details like names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, cybercriminals can assume victims' identities, wreaking havoc on their financial lives and reputations. Page said, “For instance, a hacker may use stolen data to open fraudulent credit card accounts or apply for loans in your name.”

  • Financial fraud. Stolen credit card numbers and banking details are often sold on underground forums or used to make unauthorized purchases. Victims may suddenly face unexpected charges or drained banking accounts, resulting in significant financial losses.

  • Targeted phishing scams. Page warned, “Armed with stolen email addresses and personal data, cybercriminals craft sophisticated, personalized phishing emails designed to deceive you into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware.” For example, a scam email masquerading as a financial institution notification may contain personal details to convince an account holder it is legitimate. “These phishing emails prompt you to click on malicious links or provide login credentials, further compromising your accounts.”

  • Dark web trade. A thriving underground marketplace for stolen data, where cybercriminals buy and sell personal information, credit card numbers, and login credentials. This dark web economy fuels a cycle of exploitation and fraud.

Page offered four proactive measures for protection:

  1. Change passwords on a regular schedule. “You should change your passwords often – setting a reminder on your phone or computer will help you remember. Choose strong, unique passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters,” said Page. He also recommended, “Avoid using easily guessable passwords or reusing passwords across multiple accounts. For example, if your email account is compromised, having a similar password for your bank account will make it easy for hackers to crack that as well.”

  2. Keep an eagle eye on financial accounts. Regularly monitor banking statements, credit card transactions, and credit reports for any signs of suspicious activity. Look out for unfamiliar charges, unauthorized withdrawals, or inquiries on credit reports. Report any discrepancies to the financial institution and request a freeze on affected accounts to prevent further unauthorized access.

  3. Invest in identity theft protection. Enroll in reputable identity theft protection services that offer credit monitoring, identity theft resolution assistance, and alerts for suspicious activity. Page commented, “Services like LifeLock or IdentityForce provide comprehensive identity theft protection plans, including credit monitoring, dark web surveillance, and identity restoration services.”

  4. Engage enhanced security measures. Implement additional security measures to fortify digital defenses and protect against future breaches. This may include regularly updating security software and operating systems, using virtual private networks (VPNs) when accessing public Wi-Fi networks, and remaining cautious about sharing personal information online. “Invest in reputable antivirus software, firewall protection, and anti-malware tools to detect and prevent malicious threats,” said Page.

Page emphasized, “By staying informed, changing your passwords, monitoring your accounts, and employing proactive security measures, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to cyber threats and protect yourself from further exploitation.”

Which States Lose the Most to Cybercrime?

Source:, which specializes in finding the best casinos and bonuses for players, analyzed data from the FBI’s 2023 Internet Crime Report. The information was used to discover the amount of money lost in each state due to cybercrime, including credit card and check fraud, extortion, and data breaches. The figures on the total loss from cybercrime in each state were collected before weighing them against the population to determine the loss per 100,000 people.

Landing in first place is Nevada, with a total loss of $6,286,710.72 per 100,000 residents. In Nevada, 7,198 citizens fell victim to cybercrime, with the average loss for each victim, $27,897.83. Second on the list is California, with a total loss of $5,535,081.99 per 100,000 people. There were 51,319 victims of cybercrime in California, with the average loss for each person being $42,026.45. In third place is New Jersey, with a total loss of $4,744,902.86 per 100,000 citizens. Here 9,978 citizens fell victim to cybercrime, each suffering an average loss of $44,181.34.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

4.      Arizona ($4,360,097.73 per 100,000 residents, 13,186 victims, average loss of $24,572.57). 

5.      Alaska ($4,329,852.50 per 100,000 people, 1,267 victims, the average loss of $25,063.46).

6.      Montana. ($4,021,115.77 per 100,000 citizens; 1,316 victims, average loss of $34,613.74).

7.      South Dakota ($3,899,509.20 per 100,000 residents, 784 victims, average loss of $45,725.63 – the highest of all 50 states).

8.     Utah ($3,867,064.11 per 100,000 people, 4,163 victims, average loss of $31,747.77).

9.     Florida ($3,864,683.83 per 100,000 citizens, 32,638 citizens victims, average loss $26,773.49).

10.  New York ($3,824,820.44 per 100,000 residents, 21,313 victims, average loss of $35,122.41).

In the study, commented on the findings: “Cybercrime continues to be one of America’s fastest-growing security threats, with technology becoming more advanced every day and there being more opportunities for citizens to store personal information online. While it is interesting to see which states land in the ranking, it is vital to stay vigilant, regardless of your state. “


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