As millions of people around the world continue to embrace technology and digital transactions, cybersecurity risks remain a top priority. Whenever Cyber Security Awareness Month comes back around, it becomes more important than ever to understand the most common fraud trends that can plague businesses and individuals. In this article, we will explore 5 key fraud trends you should be aware of.
When is Cyber Security Awareness Month?
Cyber Security Awareness Month happens every October and helps remind us of a category of crime that continues to inflict taxpayers and companies with damages amounting to billions of dollars annually. Staying updated on the latest attack types and prevention techniques is the only way to future-proof your organization.
During Cyber Security Awareness Month, NCSA encourages everyone to take an active role in protecting themselves from cybercrime. NCSA also recommends that everyone evaluate their personal computers and mobile devices for vulnerabilities and deploy mitigation strategies such as patching, updating software, using strong authentication methods, buying a secure router and monitoring activity closely.
Fraud Trends to Be Aware Of
Cybercriminals are targeting businesses and individuals in sophisticated ways, making it increasingly important for people to be aware of the various fraud trends that could pose a risk to their security. Common fraud trends include phishing scams, ransomware attacks, data breaches and identity theft. Businesses should be particularly vigilant when it comes to protecting their customers’ sensitive information as hackers look for any weak links or vulnerabilities in order to gain access.
Here are five fraud trends from our experts that you won’t want to miss during Cyber Security Awareness Month:
Synthetic identity fraud is initiated when 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 in order to exploit lines of credit. Once a fraudster is able to become an authorized user, a process that typically takes 5 months, the “bust-out” is ready to be executed. When the dust settles, creditors and businesses are left with dummy accounts filled to the brim with credit card maximums, loans, and cell phone/utility plans.
The “R word” can send chills down the spine of any business owner or MSP, and for good reason. Two cities in Florida were forced to pay over a million in aggregate bitcoin ransom, only after losing access to phone and email systems for multiple weeks. Municipalities are not alone, and a quick glance at data breach news headlines on any given week will reveal SMB attacks as well. Ultimately, ransomware boils down to the economic concept of incentives, and it will require a concerted effort by organizations to shift the paradigm.
Account Takeover (ATO)
Understanding how criminals are targeting your business or vertical is a fundamental component of any sound Cyber Security strategy. Nevertheless, “the nature of work for a CISO is often reactive”, tasked with establishing a Security Operations Center filled with analysts who are looking to spot a needle in a haystack. On the other hand, 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 business and medium enterprise level in today’s world requires purpose-driven teams and technologies that can protect your business smarter and more efficiently.
In the summer of 2019, three US universities disclosed data breach incidents within a two-day span. However, this pales in comparison to last year’s highlight. In March 2018, nine hackers breached 144 US universities, charged with stealing 31 terabytes of data worth roughly $3.4 billion in intellectual property. Such breaches have a ripple effect across all verticals and companies, driving consumer awareness and raising the standard of Cyber Security for everyone.
Finally, our bread-and-butter: the Dark Web. Security researchers estimate that In the first half of this year alone, 23M+ 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, cybercriminals will exchange stolen information and credentials in order to orchestrate damaging fraud schemes.
Check our blog post on why manufacturers should worry about Cyber Crime.
Sabre IT Solutions
Sabre IT has been around for over 20 years (under a few different names) with the same owner (namely me, Rob Jolliffe). We grew the business out of my basement and have served many communities. We are especially strong with manufacturing companies’ IT needs, mostly because we are a bit of an expert in Visual Manufacturing, which is where we got our start. We are especially strong with ERP systems for manufacturing companies, which are also provided by Sabre Limited.