Tag Archive for: phishing

While all types of fraud pose serious challenges, identity fraud is one of the most potent, and consumers must take extra care to detect and avoid it. People need to educate themselves on protecting their personal information, but many might feel they don’t know where to begin. Five main steps can be taken to guard against identity fraud and stop fraudsters and scammers from obtaining personal information or accessing accounts.

Beware of phishing

Phishing emails are a vital tactic for scammers and have developed beyond the clumsy, poorly written-efforts of the past. However, many still contain tell-tale signs of a scam, such as lousy formatting and unofficial email addresses. Phishing emails are designed to convince consumers to click on a malicious link, so consumers should avoid following links they do not recognize. Pay extra attention to an email that calls for immediate action, such as requiring payment to keep your energy on; scammers know that consumers are more likely to make a mistake if there’s urgency.

The best way to root out the fakes is to independently check the information by logging into personal accounts on the company website—companies will often post a warning on their website if they are aware of the scam email. Smishing, where phishing is conducted via a text message, isn’t a new threat but has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic and represents another avenue where consumers need to be hyper-vigilant.

Activate two-factor authentication

Many online accounts offer two-factor authentication, which can help to prevent online account takeover. Text messaging is the most popular second factor, but this is also vulnerable to takeover, so individuals should choose an alternative factor if one is available.

Sign up for activity alerts from financial institutions

Signing up for activity alerts with bank or credit card companies can alert consumers to any suspicious activity associated with their accounts. People are notified straight away, and this can prevent any further fraudulent charges or withdrawals. Do not delay reporting suspected fraud to your bank, and ask about the possibility of closing the account in question.

Set up identity and credit monitoring

Individuals can sign up for an identity and credit monitoring service that will warn them if their data is at risk. Due to personal information being traded on the dark web, monitoring services focus on places where data is known to be bought and sold and will send alerts if personal data is identified. Credit monitoring services will notify individuals of any changes to their credit profile, such as new trade lines or hard credit inquiries. If individuals suspect fraudulent use of their information, a professional can assess the extent of the fraud and assist with identity restoration.

Follow password security best practices

There is a lot of advice available on how to create strong, unique passwords for every account. However, with the average person having 70-80 accounts, it can be difficult to remember them all, leading many people to reuse passwords. Installing a password manager can help you generate and store passwords for all your accounts on your devices. Although using common passwords like “QWERTY” or your pet’s name is not safe, it can suggest a nearly impossible alternative to guess.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no single solution to ensure complete protection against identity theft. The best thing you can do is to stay vigilant and use caution. By adopting the layers of security discussed above, you can give yourself the highest level of protection against a threat that is certain to become increasingly dangerous in the future.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Email attacks against businesses have increased dramatically as hackers continually use generative AI tools to optimize their content and streamline malicious campaigns, new research has claimed. 

A new report from Acronis based on data collected from more than a million unique endpoints across 15 countries, found AI-powered phishing affected more than 90% of organizations last year, and that AI helped email attacks grow by 222% between the second half of 2023, and today.

“There’s a disturbing trend being recognised globally where bad actors continue to leverage ChatGPT and similar generative AI systems to increase cyberattack efficiency, create malicious code, and automate attacks,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Product Management. “Now, more than ever, corporations need to prioritize comprehensive cyber protection solutions to ensure business continuity.”

Leveraging Chat-GPT

Email attacks, mostly phishing, remain the primary vectors of infection, the report further states, with organizations experiencing a notable 54% increase in the number of attacks, per firm. Most of the attacks happened in Singapore, Spain, and Brazil, and Acronis identified a third of emails (33.4%) as spam. An additional 1.5% contained malware, or phishing links, it said.

Phishing is the primary infection vector for a number of reasons: email is omnipresent, it’s simple to use, and it’s cheap. It’s also easy to automate. Finally, victims overwhelmingly trust their email service providers to keep them safe from threats, often clicking on links and downloading attachments without second-guessing their good nature. 

In the pre-ChatGPT era, the easiest way to spot a phishing attack was to just use common sense and read the email message. Hackers are rarely English majors (many don’t live in English-speaking countries), and their messages were full of spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as clumsy wording and different inconsistencies. However, since the introduction of generative AI tools, email messages have become significantly more convincing. 

“The Acronis Cyberthreats Report H2 2023 highlights the continued threats faced by businesses of all sizes worldwide,” said Michael Suby, Research VP, IDC. “Unfortunately, bad actors continue to profit from these activities and are leveraging AI-enhanced techniques to create more convincing phishing schemes, guaranteeing that this problem will continue to plague businesses.”

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

In recent years, remote work has become more popular. While this working arrangement offers many benefits, it also creates numerous security risks. This blog post will provide tips on how to improve your and your employees’ cybersecurity when working remotely.

Create clear remote work policies

Your company should have clear policies in place that outline the security measures that employees must follow when working remotely. This includes using strong passwords, connecting to secure networks, and being careful about what information they share online. Make sure to communicate these policies to all employees and that they understand and adhere to these.

Secure home networks for remote workers

Home Wi-Fi routers are often less secure than business routers, so remote workers need to take extra steps to secure their home networks. These steps include changing the default router password, installing the latest firmware updates, and using WPA2 encryption settings.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN is a crucial cybersecurity tool for remote workers, especially when they need to connect to public Wi-Fi networks. It encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a secure server, making it harder for cybercriminals to track your online activity or intercept your data.

Use a password manager

A password manager stores all your passwords securely so that you don’t have to remember all of them. It can also generate strong, unique passwords for all of your online accounts, so you won’t be tempted to use weak passwords or reuse the same password for multiple accounts. Weak passwords are easy for cybercriminals to crack, and if you reuse them across multiple accounts, all of your accounts at put at risk if even just one account becomes compromised.

Implement firewalls and anti-malware software

Equip all work devices used by remote workers with firewalls and anti-malware software. Firewalls monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. They can be configured to block specific types of traffic, such as traffic from known malicious IP addresses or ports, or traffic that is associated with known malware. Firewalls can also be used to create whitelists, which allow only specific types of traffic to pass through.

On the other hand, anti-malware software scans files and devices for malicious programs, such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware. It can also block malicious websites and emails, and remove or quarantine malicious programs that have already infiltrated devices.

Keep your software up to date

Software updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities. It is important to install software updates as soon as they are available. You can configure your devices to automatically install software updates to make sure you are always protected.

Alternatively, your company can use patch management software to track patches on all registered devices and deploy the most recent updates across all of them.

Back up your data

Regularly backing up your data can help you recover from a data loss event due to device failure, theft, or other unforeseen circumstances. There are two main types of data backups:

  • Local backups: Local backups are stored on a physical device, such as an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. Local backups are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up, but they are also more vulnerable to physical damage or loss.
  • Cloud backups: Cloud backups are stored on a remote server. Cloud backups are more convenient than local backups because you can access them from anywhere, but they can be more expensive and may require a reliable internet connection.

It’s best to use a combination of local and cloud backups for the best protection. This will ensure that you have a copy of your data even if one backup fails.

Be careful of phishing scams

Phishing scams typically involve emails or messages that look like they are from legitimate companies, such as banks or government agencies, to trick victims into revealing personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

To reduce your chances of falling for a phishing scam, follow these tips:

  • Check the sender’s email address carefully. Phishing emails are often sent using email addresses that are slightly altered versions of those of legitimate companies.
  • Be wary of clicking on links or opening attachments in emails or messages, especially if they seem suspicious or come from unknown senders.
  • Look for signs of a fake website, such as a misspelled URL or a missing lock icon in the address bar.
  • Don’t enter personal information into a website that you are unsure is legitimate.
  • If you are not sure if an email is legitimate, contact the sender directly to verify its authenticity.

Remote work setups can pose many cybersecurity risks, but you don’t have to address them alone. Our technology experts can provide IT guidance, implementation, and maintenance to help you protect your business and its data. Contact us today to learn more.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Some consumers don’t know what the padlock in the browser means

Most consumers in the UK wouldn’t be able to spot a phishing website if they ever landed on one, a new report from NordVPN claims.

The VPN provider recently ran its National Privacy Test, a global survey on cybersecurity and the public’s awareness of online privacy. More than 26,000 people from 175 countries around the world participated in the poll. 

The results showed that almost two-thirds of Brits (63%) couldn’t correctly identify a phishing website, as they were looking in all the wrong places and mistaking certain features as signs of safety. 

Looking for SSL

For example, 85% of Brits wrongly believe a padlock in the web browser’s address bar means the website is trusted. Furthermore, a quarter (22%) of UK respondents said they’d be suspicious of a website that didn’t have a copyright symbol at the bottom of the page, which would make absolutely no difference regarding their online safety.

On the other hand, some red flags were properly identified by many. For example, three-quarters (72%) said that if a website’s SSL showed a random individual or company name, they would be suspicious. Furthermore, four in five (81%) would be suspicious of a website with poor visuals and copy, and 86% would be wary of the site’s address.

Phishing is a cybercriminal practice in which hackers try to trick people into giving away sensitive information such as login credentials or payment information. 

Sometimes, they distribute emails pretending to come from trusted brands, and sometimes they set up malicious landing pages where people would try to log in, or make a purchase. 

There are more than a million unique phishing websites live right now, with “several” new ones being generated every minute, NordVPN concluded. To stay safe, users are generally advised to deploy common sense and never rush to download a file or open a link they receive in an email or a social media message. 

Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and staying informed about the latest threats and solutions is essential to keep your business safe in the digital age. Protect your assets, safeguard your customers, and maintain your reputation by talking to our cybersecurity experts today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Phishing is still by far the most popular attack vector out there. Not only that, but its popularity among the cybercriminal community is growing by the day.

This is according to “Phishing threats report”, a new paper just published by Cloudflare. After analyzing more than 279 million detected email threats, 250 million malicious messages, and more than a billion of brand impersonations, Cloudflare found that phishing is the initial attack vector for nine in ten cyberattacks.

As a result, businesses lose more than $50 billion every year.

Two key objectives

When it comes to phishing, cybercriminals are focused on two objectives: to achieve authenticity, and to get victims to click. The goal to achieve authenticity was underscored by the uptick in identity deception threats, which saw an increase from 10.3% to 14.2% year-on-year. That equals 39.6 million total detections.

Furthermore, Cloudflare’s researchers witnessed attackers impersonating over 1,000 different organizations, in more than a billion brand spoofing attempts. Most of the time (63.3%), the attackers tried to ape the same brands. The researchers identified the top 30 most popular brands, which included big names like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce (all highly trusted organizations). 

Finally, almost all (89%) unwanted messages squeezed through SPF, DKIM, or DMARC authentication checks. “Attackers’ efforts to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of their victims have proven successful, as we have seen email authentication failing to stop threats,” the researchers concluded.

When it comes to the second goal, Cloudflare says users are more susceptible to the click “as an authentic form of communications.” Apparently, hackers know it’s easier for victims to click a link, rather than download a file. Hence, malicious links were the number one threat category, taking up more than a third (35.6%) of all detected threats. 

In almost all phishing attacks, the email will have a sense of urgency to it, forcing victims to react before taking the time to think their actions through. Given that most firms will not require urgent action in the majority of cases, a company asking for something to be done immediately can be considered a red flag.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and staying informed about the latest threats and solutions is essential to keep your business safe in the digital age. Protect your assets, safeguard your customers, and maintain your reputation by talking to our cybersecurity experts today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Cybersecurity is a crucial component of managing a successful company and understanding different cybersecurity terms is essential to protecting your company’s sensitive information, data, and assets can be deleted. Here’s a guide to key cybersecurity terms every business owner should know.

Malware

Malware is short for malicious software and encompasses various harmful programs designed to disrupt computer systems, steal data, or gain unauthorized access to a network. Types of malware include viruses, ransomwareTrojans, and spyware. Employing robust antivirus and anti-malware solutions is crucial to detect and mitigate these threats.

Phishing

Phishing is a cyberattack where malicious actors attempt to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card details, or login credentials. Phishing attacks often come through deceptive emails, spam messages, or websites that appear legitimate. Business owners must educate their employees about the dangers of phishing and promote a culture of vigilance when dealing with suspicious communications.

Firewall

A firewall is a network security solution that acts as a barrier between a company’s internal network and external networks such as the internet. It constantly scans and controls traffic coming in and out of a network using predetermined rules. These security rules help prevent unauthorized access to a system and keep potential cyberthreats at bay.

Encryption

Encryption is a method of converting plain, readable data into an unreadable format called ciphertext. It is used to protect sensitive information and maintain confidentiality during data transmission or storage. Even if the data is intercepted, the information will be unreadable without the correct decryption key.

Multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA is a security mechanism that enhances the protection of user accounts and sensitive information by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification or “factors” such as passwords, biometrics, and one-time codes to verify their identity. The goal of MFA is to add an extra layer of security beyond just a username and password.

Patch management

Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in networks and applications to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s system. Patch management involves regularly updating and applying security patches to software, operating systems, and applications to close these vulnerabilities and protect businesses from potential breaches.

Data breach

A data breach occurs when unauthorized individuals gain access to sensitive information, such as customer data, financial records, or intellectual property. Data breaches can have severe consequences, including financial losses, legal repercussions, and reputational damage. Implementing robust security measures can help minimize the risk of data breaches.

Security awareness training

Security awareness training educates employees about potential cybersecurity threats and best practices to help them recognize and respond to such threats effectively.

Virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN is a software or platform that helps establish a secure and encrypted connection between a user’s device and a remote server. Using a VPN especially when connected to public Wi-Fi networks will ensure privacy and data protection.

Insider threat

An insider threat is a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who intentionally or accidentally misuses their authorized access to compromise data security.

Security audit

A security audit is a systematic evaluation of an organization’s security policies, practices, and controls to identify potential vulnerabilities and improve overall security.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and staying informed about the latest threats and solutions is essential to keep your business safe in the digital age. Protect your assets, safeguard your customers, and maintain your reputation by talking to our cybersecurity experts today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

If you’re a Mac user, it’s important to be aware of the growing number of ransomware attacks that are specifically targeting macOS devices. Just like Windows users, you need to take precautions to protect yourself from these threats. Here’s how you can secure your Mac against ransomware attacks.

Defining ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to extort money from victims. It works by locking down access to an infected computer’s system and files and demanding payment, typically in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, in return for unlocking the system.

Mac ransomware wreaking havoc

There is a common misconception that Macs are safe from ransomware. But as some recent ransomware attacks show, Macs are no safer than Windows computers from the growing threat of ransomware.

In 2016, a ransomware named KeRanger made waves when it was found to have affected over 7,000 macOS computers. KeRanger managed to bypass Apple’s renowned security protocols by piggybacking on an official BitTorrent client called Transmission.

Meanwhile, in 2017, another ransomware strain targeting Mac was discovered. Called Patcher, this Mac ransomware was disguised as an application for patching programs like Microsoft Office. However, launching Patcher would encrypt user directories and demand payment for a decryption key that would never be provided due to the software’s faulty construction.

And finally, in 2019, the EvilQuest ransomware ran rampant on Mac computers around the world. Even after paying the ransom, EvilQuest victims weren’t able to gain back access to their systems and files

Prevention is key

Taking proactive steps to prevent ransomware from occurring is the best defense you can have. You can start by ensuring that your Mac’s operating system (OS) and applications are updated on a regular basis. Aside from improved system performance, OS updates usually include essential security patches that aim to address the latest security threats.

And to ensure that your data remains safe, perform regular backups and set up firewalls and antivirus software on your Mac. Doing so can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access or exposure to damaging malware. Additionally, creating backups can also help you recover important files in the event of a ransomware attack or any other untoward event.

Another essential security tip is to use strong passwords and multifactor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. These security methods can provide an added layer of protection to your data and systems, making it difficult for attackers to gain access to confidential information.

Furthermore, it is important to stay vigilant and aware of phishing emails since these are the most common delivery method for ransomware. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, or an email you weren’t expecting, avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments.

What to do in case your Mac gets infected

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your Mac infected with ransomware, take these steps to protect your data, restore access to files, and remove the malware from your device.

  1. Immediately disconnect from the internet or disable any form of wireless connection to contain the spread of the ransomware.
  2. After that, if possible, back up all of your important files and folders onto an external drive or file storage provider. Make sure not to include any encrypted files in this backup.
  3. Run an antivirus scan on your Mac and delete any detected threats.
  4. Reinstall any deleted apps or replace corrupted system files.
  5. Finally, connect to the internet again and check whether ransomware is still present on your Mac.

It’s also crucial to not pay the ransom fee. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attackers will provide you with the decryption key to release your data. Instead, you may explore free ransomware decryption tools online to remove the ransomware from your Mac.

Lastly, with a severe threat like this, it’s best to work with cybersecurity experts. They know all about the latest Mac security threats and will be able to best assess and address the situation, and take the necessary steps to keep your organization safe.

Don’t let ransomware and other cyberthreats ruin your Mac and your business. For more information about protecting your Macs from ransomware, contact us today. Our IT security experts will be glad to assist you.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Learn About Today’s Most Common Types Of Cyber-Attacks

If you’ve turned on the news sometime during the past few years, you’ve probably heard of more than one instance where a business closed due to a cyber-attack. You may think your business is small enough and hackers won’t target you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every business is at risk of experiencing a cyber-attack and should be well-prepared to defend against these threats. With the right type of attack, a cybercriminal can gain valuable information about your business, customers and employees, which can be used to damage your reputation and hurt you financially.

If you’re a business owner or leader and you want to ensure your business is well-protected, check out the most common cyber-attacks that are affecting companies today. From there, you can implement cyber security plans and tactics to ensure your business is protected from cybercriminals.

Phishing Scams

Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick a person into revealing sensitive information to the attacker or to deploy malicious software on the victim’s infrastructure. Phishing scams can wreak havoc on your business and personal life. You may have seen an e-mail from someone claiming to be Amazon or your credit card company asking for specific sensitive information. Often, the e-mail address does not line up with who the person is claiming to be.

When a phishing scam targets your business, they’ll likely request valuable information from your employees such as passwords or customer data. If your employees fall for the scam, they could give a cybercriminal unprecedented access to your network and systems. This may also allow the cybercriminal to steal private employee and customer information, leaving your employees vulnerable to identity theft. Phishing scams can be averted by using common sense and providing cyber security training to your employees. Most companies will not request private information over e-mail. That being said, if an employee receives a suspicious e-mail, they should do their due diligence to ensure the e-mail is genuine before responding in any way.

Malware

Malware is software installed on a computer without the user’s consent that performs malicious actions, such as stealing passwords or money. There are many types of malware, including spyware, viruses, ransomware and adware. You can accidentally download malware onto your computer by clicking on sketchy links within e-mails or websites. You might not even notice you have malware on your computer right now. If your computer is operating more slowly than usual, web browsers are taking you to random sites or you have frequent pop-ups, you should scan your computer for malware.

Prevention is key in stopping malware from affecting your business. Hiring and utilizing a managed services provider is the best way to protect your business, as they will continually monitor your network for exploitable holes. With malware, it’s always better to play it safe than sorry. If a cybercriminal is able to use ransomware on your network, your business could be stuck at a standstill until you pay the ransom. Even if you can pay the ransom, your reputation will still take a hit, and your business could be greatly affected. Be careful where you click on your phone, too, since malware attacks on cellphones have become more common over the past few years.

Attacks Involving Passwords

How do your employees access your network or computer systems? They most likely use a password to log in to their computer, access their e-mail and much more. What would happen if someone with bad intentions gained access to one of your employee’s passwords? Depending on the individual’s access, they could obtain sensitive information about your business, customers and employees.

Your team should be using long, complex passwords for their accounts, and each password for every account should be different. Encourage your employees to use password managers that will allow them to create the most complex passwords possible and keep track of them more easily. You can also incorporate multifactor authentication to ensure nobody can steal a password and gain access immediately. You should make your employees aware of this during your annual cyber security training.

If your business falls victim to a cyber-attack, it could have lasting consequences for everyone involved. Now that you know the most common types of cyber-attacks, you can start implementing plans to ensure you and your business stay protected.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Phishing attacks are increasing and getting more sophisticated. Here’s how to avoid them:

Phishing is on the rise, and anyone who uses email, text messaging, and other forms of communication is a potential victim.

These attacks, in which a cybercriminal sends a deceptive message that’s designed to fool a user into providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or to launch malware on the user’s system, can be extremely effective if done well.

These types of attacks have become increasingly sophisticated — making them more dangerous — and more common. An October 2022 study by messaging security provider SlashNext analyzed billions of link-based URLs, attachments, and natural language messages in email, mobile and browser channels over a six-month period, and found more than 255 million attacks. That’s a 61% increase in the rate of phishing attacks compared with 2021.

The study revealed that cybercriminals are shifting their attacks to mobile and personal communication channels to reach users. It showed a 50% increase in attacks on mobile devices, with scams and credential theft at the top of the list of payloads.

“What we’ve been seeing is an increase in the use of voicemail and text as part of two-pronged phishing and BEC [business email compromise] campaigns,” said Jess Burn, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “The attackers leave a voicemail or send a text about the email they sent, either lending credibility to the sender or increasing the urgency of the request.”

The firm is receiving a lot of inquiries from clients about BEC attacks in general, Burn said. “With geopolitical strife disrupting ransomware gang activity and cryptocurrency — the preferred method of ransom payment — imploding as of late, bad actors are going back to old-fashioned fraud to make money,” he said. “So BEC is on the rise.”

Criminals using phishing attacks based on tax season, shopping deals

One of the iterations of phishing that people need to be aware of is spear-phishing, a more targeted form of phishing that often uses topical lures.

“While it is not a new tactic, the topics and themes might evolve with world or even seasonal events,” said Luke McNamara, principal analyst at cyber security consulting firm Mandiant Consulting. “For example, as we are in the holiday season, we can expect to see more phishing lures related to shopping deals. During regional tax seasons, threat actors might similarly try to exploit users in the process of filing their taxes with phishing emails that contain tax themes in the subject line.”

Phishing themes can also be generic, such as an email that appears to be from a technology vendor about resetting an account, McNamara said. “More prolific criminal campaigns might leverage less specific themes, and conversely more targeted campaigns by threat actors involved in activity like cyber espionage might utilize more specific phishing lures,” he said.

What people should do to ward off phishing attempts

Individuals can take steps to better defend themselves against phishing attacks.

One is to be vigilant when giving out personal information, whether it’s to a person or on a website.

“Phishing is a form of social engineering,” Burn said. “That means that phishers use psychology to convince their victims to take an action they may not normally take. Most people want to be helpful and do what someone in authority tells them to do. Phishers know this, so they prey upon those instincts and ask the victim to help with a problem or do something immediately.”

If an email is unexpected from a specific sender, if it’s asking someone to do something urgently, or if it’s asking for information or financial details not normally provided, take a step back and look closely at the sender, Burn said.

“If the sender looks legitimate but something still seems off, don’t open any attachments and mouse or hover over any hyperlinks in the body of the email and look at the URL the link points to,” Burn said. “If it doesn’t seem like a legitimate destination, do not click on it.”

If a suspicious-looking message comes in from a known source, reach out to the person or company via a separate channel and inquire as to whether they sent the message, Burn said. “You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and you’ll alert the person or company to the phishing scam if the email did not originate from them,” he said.

It’s a good idea to stay up on the latest phishing techniques. “Cyber criminals constantly evolve their methods, so individuals need to be on alert,” said Emily Mossburg, global cyber leader at Deloitte. “Phishers prey on human error.”

Another good practice is to use anti-phishing software and other cyber security tools as protection against potential attacks and to keep personal and work data safe. This includes automated behavior analytics tools to detect and mitigate potential risk indicators. “The use of these tools among employees has increased significantly,” Mossburg said.

Another technology, multi-factor authentication, “can provide one of the best layers of security to secure your emails,” McNamara said. “It provides another layer of defense should a threat actor successfully compromise your credentials.”

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from CNBC.com SOURCE

2022 sees rise in ‘unwanted’ emails as phishing attacks remain popular

A large proportion of your work emails may not be useful in any way, a new report examining billions of messages has claimed.

Research from Hornetsecurity analyzing 25 billion business emails found nearly half (40.5%) are ‘unwanted’, and could even represent a serious threat to businesses.

The report also revealed how email remains an incredibly popular threat vector, with the most common kind of malicious messages being phishing attacks – emails pretending to be from well-known companies, sometimes quite convincingly – which made up 39.6% of all threats.

False sense of security

When it comes to malicious email attachments, Archive files such as Zip made up the greatest proportion (28% of messages), followed by web files (HTML) at 21%. Text based files were also commonly employed, with tainted Microsoft Word documents making up 12.7%, PDF 12.4% and Excel 10.4%.

The report also found new methods are being developed by cybercriminals in response to the changing digital landscape. For instance, attacks exploiting the macro capabilities in Microsoft 365 are no longer viable since Microsoft disabled the feature last year, specifically to shore up its security.

As a result of this, new tactics have been adopted. HTML smuggling has risen, where hidden LNK or ZIP files are contained within web links to deploy malware.

Hornetsecurity CEO Daniel Hofmann warned that given the prevalence of cloud based systems, such as Microsoft 365, their use should merit the same level of caution. Hornetsecurity’s report found that a quarter of respondents did not know that 365 could be a potential gateway for ransomware – some even presumed it was invulnerable to such threats.

“Ongoing training should be in place to prevent fraudsters from manipulating the trust people have in Microsoft and other office systems”, Hoffman advised. He also made specific mention of Microsoft Teams, adding that “it’s also critical to ensure all data shared via this platform is backed up.”

Other reports have found a similarly high – or even higher – proportion of spam emails in people’s accounts. Recent findings from Kaspersky, for instance, put the figure between 45-85%.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE