Top Resolutions to Protect Your Data

In light of the statistic that up to 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail, it can seem tempting to avoid making any new commitments until the year is well underway. But when it comes to cybersecurity, continuing to meet and improve upon your 2019 resolutions is the key to maintaining your online safety, both personally and professionally. Read on to learn more about the top three New Year’s resolutions every business owner should make—and keep—in 2020.

Resolution #1: Learn More About Email Account Takeovers

We recently warned about one of the newest and most insidious cyberattacks, one that can quickly destroy customer and client trust in your business—the email account takeover

In this variation on the traditional phishing scam, fraudsters gain access to an email account within your organization and put rules into place that will route any replies to a secret folder. This allows fraudsters to send out emails, under your name, to everyone in your contact list and hide not only the sent emails but any well-meaning replies.

These phishing emails sent from your account often say something like “Hey, I really need some information from you. Please click this link.” Because many of the people in your contact list have an inherent trust in you and others in your organization, they may be more likely to click the malicious link than they would if it was arriving from a totally outside source. 

Fortunately, there are steps every business can take to prevent email account takeovers. Booking a 30-minute initial phone consultation with one of our experts can assess your security needs and help you create a customized security plan for your organization. 

Resolution #2: Educate Yourself about the Dark Web

2020 will bring the first comprehensive index of the “dark web” since its inception. For the last six years, experts have collected data and delved into some of the deepest recesses of this hidden internet, which serves as a highway for child pornography, trafficked humans, drugs, and stolen financial and personal information.

Because the dark web is the source of so much cybercrime, law enforcement teams and IT security professionals are excited to finally see a comprehensive worldwide index that operates in realtime. This will allow for more sophisticated monitoring efforts and help reinforce private defenses against online security breaches. 

Staying up to date on these dark web developments will be every organization’s key to improving cybersecurity in 2020 and beyond.

Resolution #3: Prevent Spear Phishing

One of the most common phishing scams involves the use of emails, voicemails, text messages, and other cyber communications that can closely mimic a legitimate communication. By sending out millions of messages, fraudsters bank on the fact that a small percentage of those who receive the message will inadvertently or mistakenly click on the link and reveal private information. 

But spear phishing is far more targeted, and in many ways can mimic email account takeover scams. Instead of casting a broad net and hoping to reel in just a few recipients, spear phishers will use specific, focused information to try to steal financial details from the victim. Because these scams have such a high individual success rate, the phishers will put in far more effort to impersonate a coworker, customer, or even a family member.

For example, if you’re expecting a delivery soon and get an email —seemingly from the delivery company—that says “There’s been an urgent payment issue, click here,” you may go so far as to resubmit your credit card information without even evaluating whether the communication seems fishy.

Falling for these scams or being the “hub” for a fraudster’s impersonation efforts can cost your business time, money, and customer trust. And as cybercriminals continue to work on more sophisticated ways to steal information, stepping up your security efforts in 2020 is a must. Schedule your free 30-minute phone consultation today to learn more about what you can do to protect your team.