How often are you quick to reply to emails without considering their contents first?
Your email is seemingly harmless when it arrives from someone asking for information or asking you to pay an invoice, yet instantly becomes part of an attack on Business Email Compromise as soon as you click "send."
BEC attacks occur when cyber criminals gain access to an email account for your business and use it to gain the trust of employees, partners, customers or other parties, convincing them into sending money or sensitive data by pretending to be someone in a higher-up position and exploiting this trust.
It may appear as though only large corporations experience these problems, but this is far from being the case.
According to the FBI, small and midsize businesses are just as susceptible to BEC attacks as large enterprises are; BEC attacks have cost businesses over $26 billion since 2010.
Microsoft recently conducted research which indicates that malware is becoming more advanced and difficult to detect.
What can you do to safeguard your business against BEC attacks? Here is what we suggest:
Your employees are your first line of defense against BEC attacks. They should know how to recognize suspicious emails and suspicious requests; regularly educate them on cyber security practices like strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
Advanced email security solutions are necessary to combat Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. Traditional antispam or antivirus software alone cannot detect and prevent these attacks; advanced solutions employing artificial intelligence and machine-learning are now necessary. Consider services offering features such as domain-based authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and DomainKeys Identified Email (DKIM).
Setup transaction verification procedures. Before transferring sensitive information or funds, create a process to confirm the legitimacy of requests received for sensitive transfers. Use videoconferencing, face-to-face interviews or phone conversations as methods of authentication to confirm requests incoming. Do not solely rely on email confirmation of such requests.
Track Your Email Traffic Regularly. Keep an eye on the emails sent and received through your inbox for anomalous patterns or deviations, such as unusual logins, new senders or unexpected emails arriving suddenly or changes in settings that seem unexpected or suspicious. Establish an acceptable method for reporting suspicious activity immediately so it can be dealt with.
Update Your Software: Be sure to always run the most up-to-date versions of email software, operating systems and applications - this includes receiving security patches which address known vulnerabilities.
BEC attacks have become more sophisticated, yet you can protect yourself and your business with training, awareness and security solutions that can provide protection.
Do not wait until it is too late to take action. Take steps now.
Call our team for more information about how you can protect your business against cyber threats. We can assist.
Phone: (404) 932-5940