September marks the end of summer, and with that comes a return to work, routine, and focus after all the fun in the sun during previous months. It is also the final push to round out the calendar year on a high note for businesses. It’s been another up and down year with some uncertainty mixed with optimism. Lingering effects from the pandemic remain, but many organizations remain determined and driven to succeed despite any unforeseen obstacles.
Cybercrime continues to pose an ongoing threat to businesses of all sizes while new incidents and attacks highlight the constant need for adequate data breach planning and defenses. From large-scale ransomware attacks to emerging scams to employee training, there is a growing list of issues all organizations need to consider.
Criminals are always evolving their technique in order to exploit any new angle that can benefit their ill intentions. This has been the case since the dawn of civilization, but the modern digital world represents a new frontier of possibilities for threat actors to prey upon. New tactics and strategies are appearing at a rapid clip, and a few of these should be on your defensive radar. Awareness of developing threats can give your organization a leg-up when it comes to implementing strategies for defense and increasing employee and partner knowledge so they can better understand, and thereby limit, risks.
Instances of voice cloning scams are on the rise. New technologies utilizing advanced artificial intelligence can effectively mimic a human voice. While this AI has beneficial uses, it’s easy to see the potential threat it poses as well. Synthetic voices generated by voice cloning computer programs pose a considerable security risk because of the authenticity involved when a threat actor uses the voice as part of a scam.
Cybercriminals’ cloned version of a CEO’s voice has been used to initiate a fraudulent bank transfer. The fraudsters in this instance faked an urgent demand, and upon recognizing the voice, the employee was more than compelled to take action. Services and tactics are being developed to recognize and flag potential fake audio but the level of sophistication involved poses problems.
Voice cloning and other deepfake scams are on the rise, and any business without the ability or resources to deal with the issue is an easy potential target. Law enforcement and government agencies are aware of this risk and are working to develop strategies and technologies to combat it. Businesses need to be always mindful of the threat and remain skeptical of any suspect demand or request while also implementing authentication verification measures.
The use of cloud-based services is at an all-time high, making for another easy avenue that cybercriminals can exploit. The steady shift to remote work forced upon the business world by the pandemic seems likely to remain a trend as organizations adopt hybrid working models and rely more heavily on virtual elements that were once kept in-house. 2020 saw a 630% rise in cloud cyberattacks on businesses, and the risk continues to grow.
Cloud jacking incidents include any hack or data breach involving an organization’s off-site data storage. Data is the goldmine for cybercriminals, and a poorly secured cloud storage system makes for a virtual safe that is easy to crack. Cloud jacking can appear in several ways, and a threat actor can simply sit inside an infiltrated system to glean sensitive information and monitor communications. Hackers can use cloud access to initiate a malware or ransomware attack. They can steal valuable employee and customer data or proprietary information and intellectual property. Attackers can also take control of entire business operations associated with the cloud to divert funds, change security settings, and limit user access.
Cloud-based attacks are poised to remain a looming threat looking into the future, but there are a few steps that businesses can take to limit their risks. Data breach planning and response services are a first line of preparatory defense. Another critical step is enabling multi-factor authentication for any apps or software your business uses to access the cloud. Providing education and training for employees is also key in spreading cybersecurity awareness.
Mobile use in the workplace is another ever-present cybersecurity risk. Smartphones and other devices are more heavily relied upon for business communications than ever before. Whether it’s a business-issued device or a personal phone or tablet used to access work-related data, virtually everyone is holding an organization-threatening apparatus in their pocket.
Cybercriminals are directly targeting these mobile devices because they often provide quick access for malware infection. Employee phones and other devices can be easy to access because user behavior is markedly different on a personal device than a work device. Over half of the companies that experienced a mobile data compromise indicated user behavior was a direct cause. Mobile malware attacks will continue to be an issue as virtual and cloud-based work is here to stay.
Employee behavior represents another threat to every business. A recent report found that nearly 80% of employees still practice risky digital behaviors even though they are well aware of its risks. Many of these people simply don’t believe that their actions are important enough to warrant a change of behavior. Others lack adequate cybersecurity knowledge in the first place, reflecting the importance of fitting training and education into best practices and the impact that employee actions can have on an organization even outside of the workplace.
Most businesses are not doing enough cybersecurity training to help prevent data breaches and other cyberattacks. Falling behind the curve of the emergent threats mentioned above can spell disaster for businesses of any size in any industry. Cybercriminals will readily expand to new avenues for infiltration, and every business needs to do all they can to keep up. Knowledge is power but so is realizing the need for proper cybersecurity planning and defensive measures.
LibertyID is the leader in identity theft restoration, having restored the identities of tens of thousands of individuals without fail. If you retain personal information on your customers, now is the time to get data breach planning and a response program in place with our LibertyID for Small Business data breach preparation program. With LibertyID Enterprise you can now add value to existing products, services, or relationships by covering your customers, employees, or members with LibertyID’s fully managed identity theft restoration service – at a fraction of our retail price – with no enrollment and no file sharing. We have no direct communication with your group members – until they need us.
Call us now for a no obligation proposal at 844-44-LIBERTY (844) 445-4237