Stop! And think, before you act on that email

Are you ever guilty of quickly responding to emails without really paying attention to what they say? It may seem like a harmless task, like providing information or paying an invoice. However, you could unwittingly become a victim of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack.

A BEC attack happens when a cybercriminal gains access to your business email account and uses it to deceive your employees, customers, or partners into sending them money or sensitive information. They do this by pretending to be someone important and taking advantage of their trusted position.

You might think that only large corporations are targeted, but that's not true. According to the FBI, small and medium-sized businesses are just as susceptible to BEC attacks as big ones. In fact, these attacks have cost businesses over £20 billion in recent years.

Microsoft has also revealed that these attacks are becoming more destructive and harder to detect. So, what can you do to protect your business from BEC attacks? Here's what we recommend:

1. Educate your employees: Your employees are your first line of defense against BEC attacks. They need to know how to recognize phishing emails, suspicious requests, and fake invoices. Regularly train them on cybersecurity best practices such as using strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, and securely sharing files.

2. Use advanced email security solutions: Basic email protections like antispam and antivirus software are no longer sufficient to block BEC attacks. You need more advanced solutions that employ artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and prevent these attacks in real-time. Look for email security providers that offer features like domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance (DMARC), sender policy framework (SPF), and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).

3. Establish transaction verification procedures: Before transferring funds or sensitive information, establish a verification process that confirms the legitimacy of the request. This could involve making a phone call, having a video conference, or conducting a face-to-face meeting. Don't rely solely on email to confirm such requests.

4. Monitor your email traffic: Regularly monitor your email traffic for any unusual activity or patterns. Pay attention to signs like unknown senders, unfamiliar login locations, changes to email settings or forwarding rules, and unexpected emails. Have a clear protocol in place for reporting and responding to any suspicious activity.

5. Keep your software up to date: Always ensure that you are using the latest versions of your operating system, email software, and other applications. These updates often include crucial security patches that address known vulnerabilities.

BEC attacks are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated. However, with proper awareness, training, and security measures, you can safeguard your business. Don't wait until it's too late – take action today to protect your business.

If you want to learn more about protecting your business from cyber threats, our team is ready to assist you. Give us a call.

Westway IT

Westway IT Ltd: Registered in England & Wales, Company Number: 11341592
Registered Office: Westway IT Ltd, The Glen, Millend, Blakeney, Gloucestershire. GL15 4ED
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