Stop! Pause and Review Before You Act on That Email

Underestimating the risk in every email could be your business's downfall due to Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks.

Do you ever find yourself reflexively replying to an email without fully digesting its content?

It could be a simple request for information or an invoice for payment—nothing unusual. However, in an instant, after you've pressed the send button, you've unwittingly walked into the trap of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack.

A BEC attack unfolds when a cyber crook infiltrates your professional email account, manipulating it to deceive your employees, clients, or partners into parting with their money or confidential data. They masquerade as an authoritative figure, exploiting the trust that comes with that role.

While it may seem like an issue plaguing only massive corporations, the reality is quite different. As stated by the FBI, small and mid-size businesses are equally susceptible to BEC attacks as their larger counterparts. The economic fallout from such attacks has been staggering, exceeding $26 billion over the past few years.

Further alarming data comes from Microsoft; their recent research indicates BEC attacks are growing in severity and becoming more challenging to identify.

So how can you fortify your business against BEC attacks?

Consider our suggestions:

  1. Empower your team: Your employees are your frontline defense against BEC attacks. Equip them with the ability to identify phishing emails, unorthodox requests, and bogus invoices. Regular cybersecurity training is vital, focusing on robust passwords, two-factor authentication, and secure file transfer.

  2. Invest in advanced email security technology: The standard defenses like antispam and antivirus programs are insufficient against BEC attacks. You need to leverage cutting-edge solutions that harness artificial intelligence and machine learning to instantly identify and thwart these attacks. Opt for email security services that include features like Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).

  3. Implement transaction verification protocols: Before transferring money or sensitive data, establish a validation process to ascertain the request’s legitimacy. Possible verification methods could be a phone conversation, a video chat, or an in-person discussion. Don't rely solely on email to verify such requests.

  4. Review your email traffic: Be proactive in monitoring your email traffic for peculiarities and atypical patterns. Stay alert for potential red flags like unrecognized senders, unexpected login locations, alterations to email settings, or sudden emails. Have a robust procedure for reporting and addressing any suspicious incidents.

  5. Update your software consistently: Be diligent in maintaining the latest version of your operating system, email application, and other software tools. These updates frequently incorporate critical security enhancements that patch known weak spots.

BEC attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and complex, but your business can stay safe with the correct level of awareness, training, and security measures.

Don't procrastinate – it's time to take preventative steps to secure your business.

For more insights on safeguarding your business from cyber threats, our team is always available to assist you. Don't hesitate to get in touch.