Sometimes it’s hard to believe the stories we read. In the case of CEO fraud incidents, cybercriminals earn double-digit sums in the millions by persuading employees that they are acting on behalf of the CEO or another senior manager. Employees then transfer the required amount to an alleged account of a partner or supplier, based only on an e-mail or telephone request without seeking reassurance. CEO fraud follows a similar method to telephone cons targeting the elderly but causes significantly higher financial damage. In mid-2016, an international network was unraveled which was alleged to have earned USD 60 million through the cybercriminal methods of Business Email Compromise (BEC) and CEO fraud. Similar attacks are now occurring on a daily basis in Germany, with similar dramatic consequences.
Smartphones are part of everyday life, either for private or professional use. However, while many users have taken basic measures to protect their desktop PC or laptop, this is not the case for mobile devices. A study by Consumerreports.org showed that in 2014 one third of all American smartphones did not have a single security measure, neither a PIN code, nor anti-virus software, let alone encryption. This may look different for professional and enterprise managed devices, but many use their personal mobile device at least partly for professional purposes. This means that links, files, photos, contacts and other internal company data are stored on personal smartphones. This makes easy pickings for a thief or digital attacker.
US retailers have been having a tough time of late. Shifting consumer tastes and the rise of online shopping have forced a number of stores to cease trading. While conventional stores may not be hiring for the summer like they used to, there’s still plenty of seasonal work to be found in hotels, restaurants and the hospitality sector in general. Restaurants and hotels are already popular targets for cybercrime. On top of this, the busy summer season brings an influx of newbies to join the workforce, adding an extra risk dimension for employers to deal with. From remote Point-of-Sale connectivity, to summer season workers using their mobile phones to look up or share company information, hospitality chains need a comprehensive VPN strategy so they can be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure.
When WannaCry dominated the headlines, manufacturers fell over one another to make a statement. On the whole, the comments can be divided into two groups. Some reminded customers that not patching software is negligent and others claimed that it simply would not have happened with their software/hardware/service. How true is this? One can hardly imagine that organizations such as hospitals or Deutsche Bahn would not have any protection software, employ incompetent administrators, or have not heavily invested in security technology. Security products and services were almost certainly available to the affected organizations; however, they were unable to neutralize this threat.
The ATM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Some of the oldest cash machines still in use today date back to an era when network security was relatively unsophisticated. Protecting connections between large numbers of disparate ATMs and the banks’ processing centers using VPNs is relatively straightforward. Yet, some banks have not yet taken adequate protective measures. As the Internet of Things gathers pace, the need to protect machine-to-machine communications is becoming urgent. Cybercriminals’ recent success in carrying out remote attacks on ATMs is a timely reminder of how important secure remote connectivity has become for M2M environments.
People are often quick to adapt – now we don’t seem to blink an eyelid when we read news about another hacked server and the loss of a few million records of personal data. Only the most spectacular cases often attract our attention such as an attack on a high profile target like the German parliament or incidents where vast amounts of data were stolen, for example the Yahoo breach. And the bar is constantly being raised of what needs to happen to catch our attention. News which used to grab headlines throughout the media is now limited to specialist magazines or blogs. Nevertheless, companies are paying attention to such threats as a high priority. A study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers lists cybercrime as the second most reported economic crime. In the study, 32 percent of companies said they had already been victims of cybercrime and 34 percent expected an incident in their company over the next two years. Analysing the development of cybercrime in the last few years reveals interesting trends. A infographic on Bestvpn.com lists the 10 most serious incidents according to the impact or the quantity of stolen data. Although the list is based on incidents in America, the findings are impressive. Even the last place begins at 50 million data records stolen from the retailer Home Depot in 2014.