Tech Fraud IS on the rise and no-one is safe! A quarterly report was recently released that looked at who tech scams are targeting… and the results were both interesting and a little scary.
Overall, the summer saw a 25% rise in the number of email fraud attacks on targeted companies, but what is scarier is that also meant a whopping rise of 85% on the same quarter last year!
DANGEROUS EMAILS ON THE RISE
The amount of malicious emails, appearing in inboxes rose by 36% on the previous quarter. Among all that nasty stuff, 11% were ransomware emails.
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
It is a particularly devious scheme where you will be sent an innocent looking email containing a link or file. That file, when clicked, releases a virus that locks you out of all your data. You then receive an email demanding payment for your data’s release – often in bitcoin or other electronic funds. The ransom amount can vary, but typically costs a company thousands of dollars.
TECH SUPPORT FRAUD IS GROWING FAST
One of the most famous forms of tech fraud, is (surprisingly) now also the biggest growing one – the good ‘ole Technical Support Fraud! (The one where you receive a call from a thick-accented individual in a noisy call-centre, claiming to be something like Microsoft Windows). Given the amount of publicity and public education that this form of fraud has attracted (not to mention a slew of YouTube videos with people winding up these scammers), it is surprising to see it is still growing, but it is. This quarter’s attacks jumped by 36%... which gives an astounding 400% increase on the same period a year ago!!
SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SAFE
The report also showed that attacks are now coming from more directions than just email and your phone. Social media is gaining its fair share, with the most popular being from “angler phishing”. This is where fraudsters create fake accounts that mimic famous brands. Then when someone has a legitimate customer service requests, they swoop in and pretend to be that brand in order to gather the customer’s information.
Overall, all types of fraud were on the increase, with no discrimination in who they targeted (all career levels) or where they targeted (all industries and all company sizes, with retail and government hit hardest).
HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES AGAINST TECH FRAUD?
The burning question is how can you protect both yourself and your staff? Preparation is your biggest weapon! Here are a few things to help to get you started…
TRAINING - Knowing what to look for and educating all of your staff on what to spot, is the best plan. You can check out one of previous blog posts to see what the telltale signs of a scam email are.
BLOCKERS – up-to-date spam filters and virus software can help filter out most of the threats before ever reaching your inboxes.
BACK-UPS – a regular back-up of all your data means far less downtime (if any) and huge cost savings in the case of a ransomware attack. You don’t have to buy back that information if you already have another copy somewhere else!
You can see the rest of the report, including more stats on the different targeted departments and industries, here. If you would like more information on how to protect your company’s systems, whether it is a good virus software and back-up solutions or staff awareness training, you can contact us at Wild Frog Systems, and we will be happy to help! Email email@example.com or call 778-771-0184.