Are you and your company suffering from cybersecurity fatigue? After a while, we get numb to all the “bad” news in the world. Covid still exists but people are “over it”. The public is tired of hearing about Covid. Do you remember the daily stats on the news every night? The constant reminders to wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, get tested and of course, get a booster shot? It’s exhausting.
Unfortunately, cybersecurity fatigue is real. Companies and users and tired of hearing about passwords, security awareness training, and breaches. Oh well, Uber was breached again. People don’t care until it finally hits them at home or at work.
The Rising Threat of Business Email Compromise (BEC)
We at Just Solutions have seen a large uptick in business email compromises (BEC). Small businesses and individuals are having their email breached and intercepted. Payment details for bills, purchases, house closings are all getting manipulated and their bank routing information altered by “man in the middle” email scams. The amounts have ranged from $30,000 to $150,000 stolen via BEC. There was no network hack. Users are being tricked into sending the money to the wrong accounts. Customer/vendor relations are being damaged as each side blames the other for the fake emails.
The Costliest Crime
FBI research shows that BEC is currently the costliest digital crime, far surpassing ransomware, to account for US $49.2 million in victim losses in 2021. BEC is also known as email account compromise (EAC) or ‘man-in-the-email’ scamming.
I have been “preaching” about cybersecurity for years now. I write blog articles, send out email reminders, tell my clients repeatedly to stay vigilant – and I still get clients that are “in shock” when it happens to them. The common response I hear from them: “I thought we were protected from this.” It is difficult to explain that they have been dupped, tricked, or scammed. It usually starts with a phishing email. They respond to an email or a website popup and voluntarily gave their credentials to the cyber thief.
Put These Protections In Place
Every type of “attack method” from cyber criminals has an appropriate countermeasure. Yes, technical stuff that I don’t expect you to know, but your IT department better have in place. For BEC, the following items need to be in place:
- DKIM, DMARC, and SPF configuration of your email and domains.
- Anti-spoofing/anti-spam scanning of emails with quarantine. Yes, “sandboxing” the attachments and testing them to make sure they are clean.
- Checking for misspelled domains. We have found clients tricked by email domains with one extra character in the name or the wrong domain suffix.
- Constant user awareness training is a must.
- The biggest requirement of them all is multi-factor authentication (MFA). I have been repeating this over and over. Many clients don’t want the “hassle” of MFA as an extra step to log in. At this point, I say “too bad” – turn on MFA now before you are breached. I hate to be the “I told you so” kind of guy, but MFA is a must. We still don’t have all our clients compliant. Thank goodness insurance companies are now requiring it for businesses to obtain cyber insurance.
Stay Informed and Get Prepared
I know those bullets contain a lot of “technical stuff” – I am happy to explain and review it with you and your team. I know we are all tired about hearing about breaches and cybersecurity, but it is a billion-dollar problem that is not going away. So, get smart and get prepared now. Every day, every hour, there is a new business who has fallen victim.
About the Author
As the Vice President, David Wolf is a technology visionary and serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in the IT industry. David has achieved the highest industry security certifications of CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), and CCISO (Certified Chief Information Security Officer). He enjoys using his technical expertise to help fellow business owners get the most out of their IT.