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Comment offer: Scams Awareness Week (3-9 July), by Matt Aldridge, OpenText Cybersecurity

July 2023 by Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant at OpenText Security Solutions

It’s Scams Awareness Week (3-9 July), Citizen’s Advice’s second annual campaign raising awareness of scams and educating consumers and business users on how to spot them. With this in mind, in case you are writing any features on the campaign,the commentary from Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant at OpenText Cybersecurity, on how to identify scams and phishing tactics and keep yourself safe online.

“Scams are a significant danger to businesses as they systematically exploit human vulnerabilities, thereby weakening the integrity of the organisation’s cybersecurity. Business Email Compromise is a very serious example of a scam that can have a massive financial impact on a business, while phishing attacks can open the door to huge business impacts from ransomware and significant data loss.

For maximum preparedness, businesses should integrate real-time anti-phishing into any security solutions deployed on employee endpoint devices. Hackers make money from successful phishing attacks and are therefore constantly changing their techniques and tactics to get the highest rate of return. Powerful threat intelligence technology that uses machine learning to identify the latest threats can be enormously helpful when it comes to protecting against these ever-evolving scams. Strong, multi-factor authentication (MFA) can greatly help to neutralise these types of attack, but it is no silver bullet. Company processes and procedures relating to financial transactions should also be carefully scrutinised to ensure that a single employee falling for a scam cannot result in financial loss for the organisation.

It’s also crucial that staff are properly trained to identify threats. There’s no use investing in sophisticated cybersecurity software and services if employees continue to click on dangerous phishing links that slip through the net, granting cybercriminals access to the business network. It’s like turning on a home security alarm while leaving the window open. Top cybersecurity training providers work continuously to update the content in their courses and simulations to reflect the latest threat landscape. Businesses ought to roll out a comprehensive and consistent education programme as well as the latest anti-phishing technology. Only then will they be able to truly improve employee vigilance and stand the best chance of defending the network against scammers and cybercriminals.”

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