We’ve all been there. You're scrolling through your Facebook feed, and an ad pops up promising to help you grow your business with some AI-powered software…
Sounds tempting, doesn't it? Without giving it much thought, you click to see what it’s about.
Bad news: This is a big 🚩
Cybercriminals have been found creating Facebook ads that promise to supercharge your productivity and revenue. But when you click, there's a catch.
The software they ask you to install is actually malware (malicious software).
And when it’s on your computer it can give the criminals access to your Facebook data, including your ad budget.
You might think, "Who'd fall for such an obvious trick?"
But let's be real. When you're a small business owner juggling a million things at once, it's easy to take the bait. And these hackers are smart. They know how to make their phony offers look legit, and how to hide the malware on your computer so it’s hard to spot.
How do you stay safe? First, be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true, because they often are. You can verify ads by Googling the advertiser before clicking on them.
And above all, take steps to secure your Facebook account. Use two-factor authentication, where you use a second device to prove it’s really you logging in.
Remember, these cyber criminals might be sneaky, but they're not infallible. For instance, the researchers who uncovered this scheme found several Vietnamese keywords in the malicious script.
This is another stark reminder of the importance of good cyber security. Yes, running a business is a juggling act, and adding another ball to the mix might feel overwhelming.
But think of it this way: Would you rather spend a little time now securing your account or a lot of time later dealing with the fall out of a breach?
As the saying goes, "Prevention is better than cure." So, stay safe, stay alert, and protect what you've worked so hard to build. If you need some help doing that, get in touch.
Ever been tempted to download the beta version of your favorite app, ready to test out all the cool new features before everyone else?
The FBI has some news that might just make you think twice.
Cyber criminals have come up with a brand new trick to lure us into their lair. They’re hiding malicious code in fake beta versions of popular apps, turning unsuspecting people’s mobiles into their personal piggy banks.
Now, don't get us wrong, we love innovation as much as the next team of tech enthusiasts. But whilst beta versions have a certain allure, they haven't gone through the rigorous security checks that apps in the official app stores must pass.
Criminals send fake emails pretending to be the developers of popular apps, offering early access to new beta versions.
But of course they’re fake too. Once installed, they can do all sorts of bad things, including accessing data from your finance apps and even taking over your mobile
If your staff download them onto company devices, could your business be compromised?
There’s a moral to our story. And it's a simple one: Patience is a virtue.
Hold off on downloading beta versions of apps. Wait until they're stable and officially released in app stores. Good things come to those who wait, and that includes secure apps.
If you have downloaded beta versions in the past, keep an eye out for red flags like faster battery drain, poor performance, persistent pop-up ads, and apps asking for unnecessary permissions.
In this digital age, we must be as smart and savvy as the technology we use. So, before you hit download, take a moment to think: is this app worth the risk?
Train your staff to think the same way. And if you do give them business mobiles, consider a Mobile Device Management solution to control what they can do with them.
We can help keep all your devices better protected. Get in touch.
Are you aware that the rise in global VPN usage has skyrocketed? The reasons are clear as day: Virtual Private Networks offer increased security, anonymity, and allow access to geo-restricted content online.
But here's the million-dollar question: Are all VPNs created equal?
The answer is a resounding no. And that has potential implications for your business.
Free VPNs, although tempting with their zero-cost allure, aren’t always what they promise to be. Why, you ask? Let's take a closer look at free VPN services.
For starters, it's important to understand that running a VPN service comes with substantial costs. Servers, infrastructure, maintenance, staff – these aren't free.
So how do free VPN providers keep the lights on? Some employ tactics that could compromise your privacy and security.
Imagine this: You're sipping your morning coffee, browsing the net through a free VPN, believing your online activities are private. In reality, your sensitive information might be collected and sold to the highest bidder.
Cyber criminals, advertizers, even government agencies could potentially get their hands on your data.
Shocking, isn't it?
Moreover, free VPNs are notorious for injecting unwanted ads and tracking cookies into your browsing sessions. Ever wondered why you're suddenly bombarded with eerily accurate ads? It's probably your free VPN service cashing in on your browsing habits.
Now, consider the potential danger if an employee downloads a free VPN on a company device, or on their personal device that they use for work. Company data could be exposed, representing a significant business risk. Picture a scenario where your company's sensitive data falls into the wrong hands - a chilling thought, isn't it?
So, what's the solution?
It's crucial to educate your employees about the risks associated with free VPNs. Encourage the use of reliable, paid VPN services that guarantee no logging of data, robust encryption, and superior user privacy.
In fact, you may choose to provide one to them. If we can help you find the safest, most suitable VPN for your business, get in touch.
Remember, when it comes to online security, free often comes at a higher cost. Isn't it worth investing a few $$ a month to protect your company's valuable information?
You may think that cyber-attacks only happen to large corporations. But unfortunately, that's not the case.
According to a recent report, almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) suffered at least one cyber attack over the past year. That's a staggering number, and it should serve as a wake-up call for businesses everywhere.
But it gets worse.
More and more businesses are also experiencing repeat attacks, with 87% reporting at least two successful attacks over the past year. And on average, a company suffers almost five successful cyber incidents.
The question is, why are these attacks happening, and what can you do to prevent them?
The most common types of cyber-attacks that businesses face are malware and ransomware.
Malware is malicious software. It invades your system and can cause all sorts of problems, from slowing down your operations to stealing your data.
Ransomware is even more dangerous as it encrypts your data, making it impossible for you to access it unless you pay a ransom fee. This can be devastating for any business and can lead to significant losses and downtime.
What factors are contributing to more successful attacks?
One reason is the rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This means employees using their personal devices to access company information, which can be risky.
Another factor is the explosion of productivity apps, which can create security vulnerabilities if not properly secured.
Finally, the number of devices we're using now means there are more entry points for cybercriminals to exploit.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your business. Here are five solid security steps you can take.
- Use strong passwords: Passwords are your first line of defense, so make sure they're strong and unique. Better yet, use a password manager that can create and remember randomly generated passwords
- Keep software up to date: Software updates often contain security fixes, so make sure you're always running the latest version. This applies to both your operating system and all applications you use
- Train your staff: Educate your employees on how to identify phishing emails and other scams. You can also run regular security awareness training sessions to keep everyone up to date
- Backup your data: Doing this means if you do suffer a cyber attack, you can restore your systems quickly and with less disruption
- Use antivirus software: This can help protect your systems from malware and other threats. Make sure you're running a reputable and up-to-date solution
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Take action today to help you stay protected.
And if that seems like a lot of extra work, let us help. Get in touch today.
Have you heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? It seems cybercriminals have too, and they're using it to their advantage.
In a new twist on phishing campaigns, cybercriminals are luring victims to click on images rather than downloading malicious files or clicking suspicious links.
Let's dive into the warning signs, so you can keep your business safe from these sneaky attacks.
First things first, what's the big deal about clicking on an image? It might be promoting a killer deal or a one-time offer.
But when you click on the image, you don’t go to the real website. Instead, it’s a fake site designed to steal your personal information.
Imagine being lured in by a cute cat photo only to find out that Mr. Whiskers was actually a wolf in sheep's clothing! Not so cute anymore, right?
So, how can you tell if an image is part of a phishing campaign? Here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Unexpected emails: Did you receive an email from someone you don't know or weren't expecting? Be cautious! It's like accepting candy from a stranger – you never know what you're getting yourself into.
- Too good to be true: If an email promises you a free vacation or a million dollars just for clicking on an image, remember the golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes: We all make typos, but if an email is riddled with errors, it could be a sign that something is going on.
- Mismatched logos or branding: If an email claims to be from a reputable company but the logo or branding doesn't match up, assume it’s a scam.
Now that you know what to look for, let's talk about how to protect your business from these image-based phishing attacks:
- Educate your employees: Knowledge is power! Make sure your team is aware of the latest phishing tactics and knows how to spot the warning signs.
- Keep software up-to-date: Just like you wouldn't drive a car with bald tires, don't let your software become outdated. Regular updates help patch security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals might exploit.
- Use strong passwords: It might be tempting to use "password123" for all your accounts, but resist the urge! A strong, unique password for each account can help prevent unauthorized access. Using a password manager is even better.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring people to verify their identity through another method, such as a text message or fingerprint scan.
- Backup your data: In case disaster strikes, make sure you have a backup of all your files. That way, you won't be left high and dry if your data is compromised.
Whilst cyber criminals are getting smarter and smarter with their tactics, there's no need to panic. By being aware of the warning signs and taking proactive steps to protect your business, you can stay one step ahead of these digital tricksters.
Remember, not all that glitters is gold – or in this case, not every cute cat picture is just a cute cat picture. Stay vigilant, and don't let the scammers win!
How many times a day do you respond to an email without really thinking about its contents?
Maybe it's a request for some information. Perhaps it’s asking you to pay an invoice. All mundane stuff. But no sooner than you’ve hit send, you've fallen victim to a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack.
A BEC attack occurs when a cybercriminal gains access to your business email account and uses it to trick your employees, customers, or partners into sending them money or sensitive information. They do this by impersonating someone senior, and abusing their position of trust.
It might sound like something that only happens to big corporations, but that's not the case.
According to the FBI, small and medium-sized businesses are just as vulnerable to BEC attacks as larger ones. In fact, these attacks have cost businesses more than $26 billion over the past few years.
And Microsoft brings more bad news, with its recent findings showing that they’re getting both more destructive and harder to detect.
So, what can you do to protect your business from BEC attacks? Here’s our advice:
- Educate your employees: They are the first line of defense against BEC attacks. They need to know how to spot phishing emails, suspicious requests, and fake invoices. Train them regularly on cyber security best practice, like strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and secure file sharing.
- Use advanced email security solutions: Basic email protections like antispam and antivirus software are no longer enough to block BEC attacks. You need more advanced solutions that use 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).
- Set up transaction verification procedures: Before transferring funds or sensitive information, establish a verification process that confirms the authenticity of the request. This could include a phone call, video conference, or face-to-face meeting. Don't rely on email alone to confirm these types of requests.
- Monitor your email traffic: Regularly monitor your email traffic for anomalies and unusual patterns. Look for signs like unknown senders, unusual login locations, changes to email settings or forwarding rules, and unexpected emails. Make sure you have a clear protocol in place for reporting and responding to any suspicious activity.
- Keep your software up to date: Ensure that you're always running the latest version of your operating system, email software, and other software applications. These updates often include vital security patches that address known vulnerabilities.
BEC attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated, but with the right awareness, training, and security solutions, you can protect your business.
Don't wait until it's too late – take action today to keep your business safe.
If you want to know more about how to protect your business from cyber threats, our team is always ready to help you. Give us a call.
When you replace old computers or external drives, do you delete data and then just… get rid of them?
You could be putting your sensitive data at risk.
A new study by a data recovery specialist shows that millions of deleted files can be recovered from improperly wiped hard drives that are sold online.
It’s not just buyers who can access your old files. Cybercriminals often buy used hard drives and attempt to recover data from them. This could include anything from confidential business information to client details.
It’s easy to forget about old data when you’re excited about shiny new technology. However, it’s important to consider what’s on that old drive before selling it or disposing of it.
Even if the drive is encrypted, it’s still possible for data to be recovered. And if the drive is damaged, there’s a chance that some of the data is still salvageable. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sensitive information.
Think about it this way: Would you leave important documents lying around for anyone to see? Of course not! Your digital information deserves the same level of protection.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Don’t let your old hard drives become a liability. Take the time to have them properly wiped or destroyed before disposal. If you’re upgrading hardware, consider hiring a professional to handle the data transfer and ensure that your old devices are wiped clean.
This isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting your employees, clients, and anyone else whose personal information you may have stored on that old drive.
It’s a small investment to make for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your data is safe from prying eyes.
Don’t take chances with your data – take action to protect it:
- Properly wipe or destroy old hard drives
- Bring in a professional for your hardware upgrades
- Upgrade your overall security practices
Have you ever felt frustrated by the flood of notifications from your multi-factor authentication (MFA) app?
Well, cybercriminals have too. And they're taking advantage of “MFA fatigue" to try to gain access to your sensitive business data.
MFA is essential for keeping your data secure. It adds an extra layer of security to your apps and accounts by asking you to verify your identity in two or more ways, such as a password and a code sent to your phone.
The constant alerts can be overwhelming though.
Attackers know this and will bombard employees – sometimes in the middle of the night – with a constant stream of MFA notifications. This makes it more likely someone will authenticate a login attempt through frustration, tiredness, or just to get the notifications to stop.
But now there's a new weapon in the fight against MFA fatigue.
Microsoft Authenticator has introduced number matching as a way of making sure your MFA notification is from the correct login attempt, preventing cyber criminals from taking advantage of notification fatigue.
How does number matching work?
When you receive an MFA notification, the app will display a randomly generated number. You then need to input this number to authenticate the login attempt and prove you're not a cybercriminal trying to access your business data.
That's not all. Microsoft Authenticator also allows for biometric authentication, which means you can use your face, fingerprint, or other unique physical features to prove your identity and combat the threat of MFA fatigue attacks.
With these security measures in place, your business can stay ahead of cyber criminals and keep your sensitive data better protected.
If you already use Microsoft Authenticator, number matching is ready to use. Simply make sure your app is up-to-date, and you'll be protected.
If you use another MFA system and want to look at how to make your security better or easier, we can help. Get in touch.
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource.
Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) means you need at least two pieces of information to log in to a device or an app. Perhaps a password plus a fingerprint, and possibly an extra, single-use code sent to your phone.
Cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated techniques to bypass security. So the more barriers you put in their way, the harder you make it for them to break into your systems.
All businesses should be using MFA as it provides great protection against cyber attacks and other security threats. Our new easy to read guide tells you all you need to know.
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource.
Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page
Owners of small and medium-sized businesses often make the mistake of thinking that they aren’t on the criminals’ radar.
But more than 40% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses – and email is usually the criminals’ way in.
Our new guide easy-to-read, ‘Getting to Grips with Email Security’, reveals why you might be vulnerable, what you need to look out for and what you can do to protect yourself.