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BEC Beware: Safeguarding Your Business from Email Fraud Threats

Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks have become a pervasive and devastating cybersecurity threat. These malicious attacks employ sophisticated social engineering techniques to deceive employees and extract sensitive information or unauthorized monetary transfers. With victims ranging from individuals to large corporations, the financial and reputational impact of BEC attacks is colossal, costing billions of dollars worldwide.

BEC attacks specifically target email users engaged in regular transactions, spanning across organizations, companies, and individuals. Attackers exploit vulnerabilities by infiltrating email accounts or posing as trusted employees or partners, launching deceitful campaigns through fraudulent emails. This type of cyberattack encompasses various forms, including CEO Fraud and Invoice Scams, all fueled by the manipulation of human trust.

Attackers skillfully assume the identity of someone familiar to their victims, cloaking their deceptive intent and increasing the likelihood of falling into their traps. To further enhance their schemes, they may also create fraudulent email accounts or mimic legitimate domains, adding an unsettling layer of authenticity. Combining these tactics with their ability to subvert traditional security measures, BEC attacks pose an ongoing challenge in terms of detection and prevention.

The consequences of successful BEC attacks go beyond financial losses, encompassing legal vulnerabilities and irreparable damage to reputations. As reported by the FBI, BEC attacks have resulted in estimated losses of $2.4 billion in 2021 alone for American businesses, underscoring the scale and severity of this threat.

Types of BEC Attacks

CEO Fraud

CEO fraud is a type of BEC attack that specifically targets business executives. The attacker’s goal is to impersonate the CEO, often by using a fake email domain or a spoofed email address. The attacker will then send an urgent email to an employee instructing them to wire transfer funds to a specific account. The email may seem legitimate and convincing, as the attacker may have done extensive research on the company and the CEO’s communication style. Often, the attacker will make the request seem time-sensitive, to increase the likelihood of the employee transferring the funds quickly.

Invoice Scams

Invoice scams are another common type of BEC attack that has cost businesses millions of dollars. In this scam, the attacker pretends to be a legitimate supplier or vendor that the business regularly works with. They will send an email to the business, often with an attached invoice that appears to be legitimate. However, the bank account information on the invoice is fake and owned by the attacker. If the business pays the invoice, the payment is sent to the attacker’s account instead of the real supplier/vendor.

Prevention Techniques

Enabling two-factor authentication and complex passwords for email accounts

Regularly monitoring and reviewing financial transactions and account activities

Educating employees on the dangers of phishing emails and other social engineering tactics

Implementing robust security protocols, such as firewalls, spam filters, and antivirus software

Verifying requests for sensitive information or fund transfers via other means, such as phone calls or in-person meetings.

Despite implementing various precautions, there are still security gaps that organizations need to address. While Microsoft 365 offers numerous security features, it remains susceptible to hackers. Unlike individual workstations or servers, all Microsoft 365 programs, including SharePoint, Teams, and Outlook, are connected to the Internet, making them enticing targets for hackers. Exploiting the Internet accessibility, hackers are increasingly focusing their efforts on infiltrating company email accounts to gain access to valuable assets such as your hard-earned money and credentials.

Sundog has taken proactive steps to strengthen your organization’s security by introducing the latest layer of protection: MDR for M365. With a dedicated security team working round the clock, any suspicious account activity will result in immediate action. Users will be logged out of all their devices, and their M365 account will be disabled. This ensures that threat actors are swiftly expelled from the system, eliminating their access.

The consequences of remaining unprotected can be severe. Organizations without preventive measures like this in place may experience extended periods of downtime lasting five to six weeks. This not only disrupts operations but also damages your reputation with clients and vendors. Don’t let your pipeline rot away – safeguard your business with Sundog’s comprehensive security solutions.

For more information regarding Business Email Compromises, please contact your Account Manager, or email the Sundog team at yourteam@sundogit.com.

Photo by Rawf8 from Getty Images

2021_IC3Report.pdf

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