Technological advancement is a transformative process. As modern technologies emerge, so do their side effects. One of the severe side effects of the digital age is the increased risk of cyberattacks. If you take a look at the present status of cybercrimes, you will be stunned to see how sharply the crime rate has rocketed. Cybercrime is increasing proportionally with the advancement and evolution of technology.
Mediums of Executing Online Scams
Scams can very quickly be executed over email and text messaging. Users who are new to technology tend to be trusting, so delivering fake emails (for example, from a bank) is an uncomplicated, low-risk way to make quick results. Customers usually trust that only banks circulate such email messages and that only banks know their customers.
Users also trust text messages that they get from authorities claiming to be banks. Financial institutions and subscribers usually believe fake services that they obtain by cell phone, believing that only trustworthy companies would send such requests. Although these are sweeping assumptions to make, they, in fact, include people who have lost millions in ruined finances and credit repair each year.
Similarly, setting up a web page is quite simple. With some added skill, many people can craft an impressive, but fake bank sign-in page, or even a fraudulent website that appears credible. A criminal with some coding skills can set up, deploy, and remove a forged site within minutes and vanish almost immediately. Sometimes they even copy the pages straight from a real website to make their fake site look even more credible.
Simple scams are uncomplicated to perform and deploy. However, some are so poorly constructed that they consist of warning signs: bad grammar, poor spelling, and doubtful uniform resource locators (URLs). On the other hand, some scam emails are remarkably convincing. A sophisticated scam may associate multiple criminals in various countries, layers of secrecy, and varied explanations and justifications.
Many users also believe in what these criminals disclose and share online with a usually anonymous audience. Well-crafted search terms can expose a wealth of personal data to bolster cybercriminals and target victims. This data is skimmed from blogs, social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and even government sites.
While phishing email is by now familiar to most users, spear phishing scam is a new trick that hackers practice to steal your money, confidential data, and critical business information. Spear phishing is a technique whereby cybercriminals target an organization’s employees through emails.
The email will look to be from a colleague from within the organization because hackers use advanced methods to conceal the email address and make it look like it came from a colleague. Most employees fall for it and end up giving essential data to the hackers.
The Threat of Hacktivism
Hacktivism is a modern term that specifies instances where a hack is executed for a social or political purpose. By adopting new technologies, techniques, and tricks, cybercriminals have already taken hacktivism to an advanced level.
Attackers are busy trying to target businesses that store critical and confidential data belonging to other companies, businesses, government agencies, and high-profile individuals. Depending on the character of your business, you may be at a higher risk of hacktivism. For instance, if you are a government agency or legal entity, hacktivists may focus on you.
There was a point when hackers utilized botnets (a combination of systems to transmit viruses and spams) to access email addresses and passwords. But now cybercriminals are practicing advanced botnets to access even your personal data like name, age, payment card information, email addresses, online activities, and passwords. Just imagine a botnet that targets your organizational structures, pilfering crucial business data.
The hackers could trade the data to other parties, or keep it for ransom. Utilizing the data and information collected through botnets, criminals could even take down your systems and network, wipe out your data, and take your firm to the verge of bankruptcy. The only surefire way to restrict botnets from accessing your systems and network is to have potent cybersecurity means in place.
Digitization of Data
Most offices have gone paperless, relying more on digitized data than hard copy data. When you look over a firm’s assets, you see virtually everything digitized. Even though digitization provides immense benefits for firms, it also poses a security risk. If you don’t have a strong cybersecurity system in place, a cybercriminal could comfortably encroach into your networks, cloud storage, or systems and pilfer your digitized data. It could put your business at a higher risk.
Cloud computing and cloud networks make your business profitable, but they also provide an easy way for illegitimate people to access your information. To restrict this, you need to have a steadfast cybersecurity solution in place, with a spotlight on cloud security.
Advanced Technologies and Employee Training
New technologies would be useful for your business only if your employees are perfectly trained to handle them. Otherwise, they would do more damage than good. As stated earlier, new technologies bring new security risks.
And to lower those new risks, you need to have progressive security measures in place. When you implement a new technology in your business, you need to train your employees on using it in a secure manner. There is always a risk that untrained and negligent employees would use the latest technology irresponsibly, making your business sensitive to the cyber attacks. Also, be sure to use a reliable cybersecurity solution to review the new technology before attaching it to your network.
Common Traits of Fraud Victims
Everyone is susceptible in certain situations, even smart pros and savvy investors can be deceived by sophisticated math, far-reaching returns, and manipulative pitches. Even so, personality traits that broaden a person’s fraud risk consist of the following:
Extroversion: An overinflated feeling of confidence, along with a tendency to move outside one’s comfort zone. Extroverts are interactive and engaging, socially receptive, and ready to share personal data with others.
Gullibility: A readiness to skip personal judgment in favor of good social opinion. Gullible people refuse to acknowledge their poor judgment or faults and are willing to let others take control.
Risk tolerance: A personal satisfaction level with various kinds of risk. High-risk tolerance provides people a “thrill of the unknown,” and all fraud actions are high risk proposals that assure unlikely financial rewards.
Blind trust: A nature of readily trusting the viewpoints of peers or outsiders without appropriate evaluation. Transference of trust creates false confidence, which can restrict a person from being vigilant.
Technological growth has given us the capability to determine and prevent cybercrime attempts before they happen. Therefore, building a culture of scam resistance, taking preventive and remedial measures with the help of technology will go a long way in safeguarding your organization’s information systems. Educating your employees and training them on pre-empting scams and cyberattacks is also very crucial in this age of digitization. NetSentries, with its comprehensive security assessment services, can identify vulnerabilities in your technology infrastructure, people, and processes to ensure that you remain always protected. Call us or leave us a message to learn how we can help you.