There is nothing scarier than the thought of someone breaking into your business. Unfortunately, this is happening more often than we would like to admit. Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a common scam where the attacker attempts to access company information or money. They do this by posing as a familiar face and requesting sensitive data or financial transactions. It’s vital to be informed about BEC scams and to know the steps you can take to protect your business.
What is Business Email Compromise? BEC is a social engineering attack where a cybercriminal manipulates company employees into divulging sensitive information or performing a financial transaction. The attacker can make their request appear legitimate, such as posing as an executive or a vendor, to make your employees comply. In other cases, attackers hijack an email account to send phishing emails impersonating someone within the company. BEC attacks are often successful because the attacker thoroughly researches your business, making their requests seem authentic.
How can we protect ourselves from BEC scams? The best way to protect your business is to educate your employees about BEC scams. Train them on how to identify potential scams and report any suspicious emails. You can also implement a strict verification process for financial transactions above a certain amount. Be sure to call the person requesting the transaction or use a secondary verification method to confirm the transfer.
Here are some specific steps to take when verifying emails and avoiding phishing:
- Check the sender’s email address. Hover your cursor over the sender’s name to see if it matches the email address provided or if it is a spoofed email address that looks like the real one.
- Look out for grammatical errors or syntax anomalies. These are often tell-tale signs of fake emails. Legitimate companies and individuals likely won’t make basic syntax mistakes in their emails.
- Verify the request. Before sending sensitive information or making a financial transaction, always verify it through another communication channel, such as a phone call or an in-person meeting.
- Never download or click on attachments in suspicious emails. These attachments can be malware or ransomware that can harm your network.
- Implement multi-factor authentication. This security method adds an extra layer of protection by requiring two or more authentication methods to log in.
Business Email Compromise scams are becoming increasingly common and can happen to anyone. The best way to avoid BEC attacks is to educate yourself and your employees, implement strict verification processes, and utilize multi-factor authentication. Protect your business from this cyber threat by being vigilant, well-informed, and proactive. Remember, prevention is always easier than recovery!