Posted by: johnocunningham | August 16, 2016

Communications: Spotting the Frauds

Security professionals are warning of an uptick in cyber phishing attacks aimed at senior executives and other high level targets within businesses and professional service organizations that serve them.

So-called “whaling” schemes involve cyber criminals sending business emails that are well-crafted and appear to be sent from a legitimate business authority, or even from an internal colleague.  The content sometimes appears to come from upper management, often tricking financial staff into making wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by thieves. Other schemes involve alleged legal subpoenas to obtain critical information and other fishing expeditions. Business email compromises have affected as many as 7,000 US businesses in the past two years, according to the FBI, resulting in some $740 million in losses.

The key to avoiding these fast-growing risks is security awareness training for employees, adequate internal control processes on release of funds and sensitive information, and regularly updated technology controls. Several accounting and consulting firms, as well as security consulting firms can provide valuable assistance in these areas.

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