Protecting yourself against the rise of Cyber Crime

At Matrix Capital, we place a great deal of importance on data security.  Understanding the fast paced nature of cyber crime too; we recently attended a seminar on the issue to ensure we stay on top of the developments and risks.

Following this, we thought it would be useful to share some of the insight gained that will benefit our business owner clients and professional connections too.

First of all, some ‘did-you-knows’ that might help to put this subject into context:

  • £21.2bn is the cost of fraud to the private sector in the UK
  • 1 in 4 business have been the victim of fraud
  • 39% of businesses do not invest in any type of fraud prevention
  • Over one third of incidents are linked to cyber crime
  • 82% of firms believe they are too small for a cyber-crime attack

… Of course on a more personal level and unfortunately happening all too often – being a victim of fraud can and has quite frankly ruined people’s lives.

Types of fraud on the rise

  • Invoice or Mandate Fraud – receiving communications claiming to be from your client or supplier suggesting their bank details have changed, and for you to update your records.
  • Vishing – a type of telephone fraud that deceives people into revealing sensitive information.
  • Spear phishing – a targeted email that appears to be from an individual or business that you know, using ‘social engineering’ to have gathered specific information about you to make their communications seem more tailored and realistic.

Spear phishing was certainly the most worrying, as victims are much more likely to engage with whatever type of request is made (from bank details to visiting a harmful website), given the nature of the content.

So, be wary of what you post online and through social media – perhaps try typing your name into Google now and see what you can find, remembering if you can find it – others may be able to too and the information could be used against you.

Cyber Hygiene’ was the phrase used basically describing best practice for web security.

Tips included:

  • Back up your business critical data regularly, perhaps to the Cloud or a removable Hard Disk Drive.
  • Always update Security Software to the latest versions when prompted.
  • With regards to Passwords, do include symbols (i.e. £$!&) as well as numbers and capital letters in passwords – they are significantly harder to break. Change these regularly too.

What to look out for:

  • If you receive an unusual approach via email, a LinkedIn message or Facebook message containing content that seems too good to be true – it probably is.
  • Spoofed email addresses, links and phone numbers (mobile and landline)
  • The unexpected
  • Be careful what you click or download

Other recommendations I took away included that if you have key suppliers you deal with and want to be sure you are speaking with the right people when exchanging personal information, consider agreeing on a Password to vocalise, acting as an additional layer of security when necessary.

Also, if you suspect fraudulent activity, the place to report this is the Action Fraud website.

Hopefully you have found this a useful read. To finish on, here is a short video that I would encourage you to watch:

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.