Stop Targeted Security Threats From Hitting Your Business Bullseye

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Security Threat|Stop Targeted Security Threats From Hitting Your Business BullseyeA lot has changed for businesses this past year, with virtual work changing the way we operate and the threats that we face. Most notably, worrying trends in an increase of targeted phishing attacks (around 73%) have left countless companies open to threats that simply didn’t exist before. This, alongside an almost overnight shift to long-distance network access, has contributed to the 400% increase we’ve seen in cybersecurity breaches since the pandemic began.

Clone phishing is especially coming to the fore, mimicking official sources or even in-office addresses, to increase the risk of damaging downloads. What’s more, rising unemployment rates have seen even non-versed cybercriminals launching DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks that, unlike traditionally invasive malware, can cause untold damage without an in-point.

Put together, all of this spells significant problems on the cybersecurity front, which, in many instances, can feel entirely above intervention. In truth, though, there are ways to prevent even targeted or out-of-house setbacks, and we’re going to consider them here.

1. Bring experts onboard

In-house IT has been struggling for a while and, as cyberthreats become ever more intelligent, the need to do away with limited in-house expertise has only grown. By instead turning to the IT support offered by companies like Envision IT Partners, you ensure that you’re working with individuals who have seen first-hand how security threats are changing and who have already been working to offset those shifting risks in real-time. Even better, the managed services offered by companies like these ensure ongoing, expert-led monitoring that can prevent even DDoS attacks from doing any real damage.

2. Protect your network

Targeted phishing attacks are increasingly challenging to identify and avoid, with hackers now using personalized tags and mimicking official resources. If they gain access to your information, cybercriminals may now even be able to mimic individuals within your very own enterprise! As such, even the best-trained team (more on that later) can’t be held accountable for mistakes made. Instead, many companies are finding that protection is the best cure, and considering your network is the most reliable way to achieve that. Specifically, you’ll want to ensure end-to-end encryption, preferably with a cloud-based backing, that guarantees hackers can’t gain access even if an employee opens a phishing email on their device.

3. Revamp your training

Even with an encrypted network and monitoring oversight, you’ll want to avoid breaches and the potential risks those bring as much as possible, and training remains the best way to do that. Most importantly, regular training sessions (around every three months) ensure that employees understand the intelligent threats on the table as they arise. This makes them far less likely to fall foul to even convincing phishing downloads, and saves everyone a whole world of hassle and potential downtime.

Change can always be daunting, especially where the activity of cybercriminals is concerned. Luckily, while phishing attacks may be becoming more intelligent, so, too, are the solutions on-hand to offset them. So, stay ahead, and stay safe by putting these pointers into action sooner rather than later.

10 Tips to Help You Avoid a Credit Card Fraud in Future

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Credit Card Fraud|10 Tips to Help You Avoid a Credit Card Fraud in FutureIn this digital economy, credit card fraud is one of the biggest and common threats to everyone. Though it offers convenience while shopping online as well as offline with a bunch of other benefits like monthly payments, easy cash loans, etc., it has become risky. The reason being criminals target banks and other financial institutions to steal the credit card data of millions of people.

Fortunately, it is possible to avoid credit card frauds and safeguard your credit card information from cybercriminals. Everyone must follow proactive measures to safeguard their credit card information and prevent cybercriminals from making payments through stolen cards. On that note, let’s check out the best tips for safeguarding credit card information from attackers and criminals.

1. Do not share credit card information

Though it is a bit obvious, you must not share the credit card information with anyone including customer service representatives of the bank or any financial institution. Also, be careful of phishing scams and do not call on phone numbers listed in a random email or share your credit card number with anyone posing as the representative of your credit card supplier. Last but more important, avoid sharing your card details with relatives or friends as well unless you are sure they are going to protect the card details as well as you protect it.

2. Beware of credit card skimmers

A card skimmer is placed invincibly on top of or inside the card slot. These skimmers allow your card to be accessed by the ATM while stealing your card information. This happens in a discreet manner so victims do not notice that something happened until they look at their bank statements later. Avoid this mishap by carefully looking before using your card in any machine: take good notice of any holes, differences in appearance, or something unusual on the PIN pad. Also, look out for any suspicious devices like cameras around the machine. Once you are thoroughly assured of safety, then only use your card.

3. Secure your passwords and PINs

Do not put consecutive numbers, your name, or birth date as passwords, which can easily be guessed by anyone. Also, refrain from saving your passwords online including on password managers (it is hard to trust them). Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters with numbers as well as special characters to make it more secure and strong. Never use the same password for different accounts and avoid sharing it with anyone in any communicative way.

4. Protect your physical credit card

Keep your credit cards safe in public places: carry your cards separately from your wallet and be mindful of pick-pocketers as well. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. Also, make sure you only carry the required cards. Thieves even tend to take pictures of the card so do not expose or keep it in open places. And destroy the unwanted cards as told below.

5. Always shred your payments data

Do not leave your card receipts or statements around your home or office: shred everything that you no longer need before throwing it all out. When it expires, be cautious with sensitive details on the card: scratch off all such information, then shred it away to prevent any kind of duplication or identity theft.

6. Be cautious with credit cards online

Do not do any transactions with sellers or on websites you do not trust. If an online transaction has to be done on an unknown website, creating a new virtual card with low value is a safer option. Many of the card issuing companies will let you create virtual cards from your credit card portal for a short period of time. Also, avoid sharing details online and stay aware of online shopping scams.

7. Report your lost or stolen credit card

As soon as you report your missing card, your credit card issuer can cancel or lock it temporarily, so as to avoid any unauthorized or bogus charges. This way, you will not be held responsible for any fraudulent charges on your account. That is why it is very important that you report your lost or stolen card as soon as you find the lost credit card, else you may have to pay for bogus charges.

8. Secure your digital devices

Keep anti-virus software updated and run security scans on a regular basis on all digital devices. Always proceed with any transaction only on a secure connection — look for HTTPS or lock icon in the browser’s address bar. Also, never click on any link in an email or on the web until you trust the sender or website.

9. Signature is very important

Always sign the back of your card as it provides double protection from any fraud during a transaction and acts as an additional verification for the same. Some retailers or card issuers also ask for signatures on a credit card for any high-value transaction. Of course, it hardly protects against online fraud.

10. Look for unauthorized transactions

Keep in mind to review and analyze all your credit card statements on time. Never skip going through all your bank statements for fraudulent transactions. If you find anything suspicious regarding any payment, immediately contact your credit card customer service and report the fraudulent transaction asap.

By being more aware and careful, you can avoid any fraudulent charges on your card, otherwise, you may have to pay for bogus charges. With a little extra effort and necessary precautions, everyone can protect themselves from fraud.

Office 365 phishing: the latest scams your employees need to know about

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Office 365 Phishing|Office 365 phishing: the latest scams your employees need to know aboutMicrosoft’s Office 365 is often targeted by scammers and cybercriminals. This is a major problem, as Office 365 is one of the most widely used software suites by businesses around the world – undoubtedly part of the reason that it is so often under attack.

Despite the fact that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has made a concerted effort to implore system admins to implement stronger cybersecurity practice, Office 365 is still exceptionally vulnerable. In fact, there is damning evidence from Microsoft itself about the security practice of its users.

Through a security dashboard available to Office 365 administrators, users are given a ‘security score’ to indicate the strength of their defences and security processes. The maximum score is 707, and yet the average Office 365 score is just 37.

Businesses using Office 365 need to ensure that they are taking their cybersecurity extremely seriously. One of the most important ways of doing this is to provide your employees with as much information on the types of attacks they can face as possible. Some of the most common scams are phishing schemes – and these can take many forms.

Some of the Office 365 scams to look out for

Cybercriminals use a wide variety of tricks in attempting to compromise users – this can involve impersonating Microsoft or other well-known businesses. While there is an almost unlimited variation in the types of scams, some of the most widely seen include the following

  • Fake meeting requests – this type of phishing scam sends messages that spoof the name and email address of a senior executive and asks the users to reschedule a meeting, by taking part in a poll to choose the new date and time. When a user clicks on the link, they are presented with what appears to be an Office 365 login page but it is in fact a phishing site.
  • Employee pay rises – this scam uses the bait of a pay rise to convince employees to give up their Office 365 login credentials. The email contains a link to an apparent spreadsheet containing details of an employee salary increase – however, the link takes the user to a phishing site that looks like the Office 365 login page. This scam is especially effective because the login page displays the user’s email address prominently.
  • Voicemail scams – this scam makes use of a genuine audio recording that requests employees allow Microsoft access to their Office 365 account, along with an almost identical login page that actually harvests the victim’s details.
  • Content scams – it is also possible for criminals to utilise Microsoft Sway – a genuine presentation software – to create a spoofed site. This looks genuine and even experienced and knowledgeable users have been tricked into entering their details. The fact that the phishing email contains a link to a genuine Microsoft product makes it very difficult to spot this form of cybercrime.
  • Conversation hijacking – this scam sees phishers infiltrate a genuine email account using previously compromised credentials, and then insert themselves into a conversion – essentially taking on the persona of the account that they have gained access to. When another employee gets an email from this ‘trusted’ colleague, they will happily click on the links they contain, which takes them through to a spoofed site.

Admins are targeted too

It is not just general employees who are targeted with phishing scams. IT administrators are singled out by cybercriminals, as their accounts typically have greater privileges and access to more company data. With access to an admin account, criminals can carry out extremely effective attacks against other members of the organisation by creating new accounts.

Administrators in Office 365 typically have access to all of the email accounts on the domain, which may allow cybercriminals to take over those accounts or retrieve emails from them.

How to improve your Office 365 security

Of course, improving employee knowledge is a vital way to reduce the effectiveness of phishing attacks. But it is also important to take a multi-layered approach to Office 365 security and put additional defences in place in order to mitigate the potential damage of an attack.

There are various steps that businesses can take such as enforce multi-factor authentication as a part of account access, as well as ensuring that administrators have a separate account for day-to-day access and only use the admin account when necessary.

It is almost important to invest in proactive monitoring of your network in order to detect any malware or unusual activity. The earlier that any suspicious activity is detected, the sooner it can be acted upon. This reduces the window of opportunity for a cybercriminal to achieve his or her intended goal.