5 Fraud Trends and How to Beat Them: Top Tips to Implement for Cyber Security Awareness Month

Tips for Cybersecurity

Every October, Cyber Security Awareness Month is a time to learn, assess, and make changes to protect yourself and your business from the latest, most sophisticated dangers. Beyond damages to reputation and production, monetary costs from cyber crime add up in the billions of dollars.

Stay safe and aware this October. Here are five fraud trends that you’ll want to know:

Fabrication

Synthetic identity fraud is a cyber crime long game. First, a hacker procures a social security number by theft or purchase on the Dark Web, and then fabricates an associated name, DOB, email account, or phone number. From there, the fake identity is legitimized and nurtured.

Once a fraudster is able to become an authorized user for lines of credit, a process that typically takes 5 months, the “bust-out” is ready to be executed. This leaves creditors and businesses with dummy accounts filled with credit card maximums, loans, and cell phone/utility plans.

Ransomware

Ransomware can send chills down the spine of any business owner, and for good reason.

Two cities in Florida were forced to pay over a million dollars in aggregate bitcoin ransom after losing access to phone and email systems for multiple weeks. A quick glance at data breach headlines on any given week will reveal SMB attacks as well. Ultimately, ransomware boils down to economics, and it will require a concerted effort by organizations to shift the paradigm, refuse to pay criminals, and protect data before attacks.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

A sophisticated scam, BEC targets anyone who regularly processes requests for electronic fund transfers. The scammer compromises an email account through phishing or intrusion tactics and requests that transfers of funds or personal information such as W2 forms be sent immediately.

Because the request comes from a familiar face, and may even be routine, this scam is highly effective—and very expensive. As of July 2019, total dollar loss has exceeded $26 billion.

Account Takeover (ATO)

The commoditization of crimeware and “spray-and-pray” techniques have led to a higher frequency in breaches, many of which are executed by non-sophisticated hackers. Solving ATO fraud at the small and medium business level in today’s world requires purpose-driven teams and technologies that can protect your business in a smarter, more efficient way.

Dark Web

Security researchers estimate that in the first half of this year alone, over 23 million credit and debit card details were being sold in underground forums. What’s worse, nearly two out of every three originated in the United States (64%), followed by the UK (7%) and India (4%). Once such data dumps hit the Dark Web, cyber criminals will exchange stolen information and credentials in order to orchestrate damaging fraud schemes.

Now that you know some of the trends in cyber crime, here are several helpful solutions.

Guard yourself and your business against these threats. Here are our

Top 12 Cyber Security Tips:

  1. Involve all stakeholders in raising cyber security awareness across your organization.
  2. Backup key data regularly and perform scheduled test restores to ensure their integrity.
  3. Enable multi-factor authentication company-wide and establish and enforce an appropriate password policy for all users.
  4. Install enterprise-grade anti-malware and spam-filtering solutions with anti-phishing capabilities across your network.
  5. Leverage internet content filtering to block phishy websites.
  6. Prepare for cryptojacking attacks.
  7. Purchase SMB security suites that include Dark Web monitoring.
  8. Assess your organization’s cyber security policies and procedures and review annually.
  9. Ensure that all third-party partners have cyber security protocols and policies in place.
  10. Build a cyber security incident response plan and democratize key information.
  11. Bind an appropriate level of cyber security insurance to cover your company in case of a breach
  12. Partner up with expert managed IT services providers to train your employees and implement the above.

Awareness and action go hand in hand. This Cyber Security Awareness Month, contact Anderson Technologies to protect your business from the newest threats, and enhance business functions every day.

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