The Future of Fraud

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by Michael Huber, Director of Business Development

After a string of cyberattacks and big businesses getting hacked this year, from the Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown to Twitch’s data dump revealing its streamers’ salaries, it’s become hard to ignore the fact that the digital lives we’ve all built for ourselves appear to be vulnerable to cybercriminals. So, how you can avoid cyberattacks like these?

As Rich Kliethermes, a Huber & Associates Technical Services Manager shared, “Unfortunately, as technological advancements have improved the way we live, similar improvements have been made within the cybercrime community. At Huber & Associates, we’ve seen first-hand that the best way to combat all the advancements in cybercrime is to simply continue to improve our cybersecurity know-how. There will always be new scams, vulnerabilities, threats, and ways to prevent them, so it’s critical to stay one step ahead of our (cyber) adversary.”

Let’s take a look at some of the cybercrime trends that Rich shared with me and learn how you can best protect you and your company’s information.

Rich Kliethermes

Rich Kliethermes, a Huber & Associates Technical Services Manager

Ransomware as a Service

Ransomware attacks continue to grow, creating a lucrative scheme for cybercrime groups. As made evident by the recent Colonial Pipeline attack, anyone could be at risk. These attacks can often be traced back to unpatched vulnerabilities, compromised user credentials, or a simple phishing email. Did you know that there are even tools on the dark web being sold that can help the purchaser carry out an attack from start to finish?! 

Colonial stated they’ve previously spent $200 million on IT, proving it takes more than just technology to prevent an attack. This is why we put so much emphasis on personalized security training!

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT market continues to snowball, turning everyday objects into internet-connected devices. From home appliances, watches and lightbulbs to locks, cameras and baby monitors, these devices are great for personal conveniences, but they do come with risks. Our favorite “smart” devices have become another entry point for cybercrime. Protect your smart devices with strong passwords and keep the devices up to date.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are expected to drive many of our future technological advancements. However, these same tools may be used maliciously by scammers to automate and improve their scams. While criminals may use AI to rapidly “guess” passwords for our accounts, AI-based systems are also being developed to help detect and prevent threats. It’s only speed and innovative thinking that can decide who’ll win the battle.

Although hacking algorithms are getting smarter with every passing year, the most dangerous are the ones that you never see coming. An experienced user can easily spot a message that was written by a bot, simply from its style and content.

Cryptojacking/Cryptomining

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are no longer just interesting conversation pieces – they are increasingly popular with everyday consumers. Cybercriminals have found ways to “mine” this type of digital currency by using the power of our computers through either an infected website or a malicious file.

Stay Alert! Tune in for poor device performance or signs your CPU is working harder than it should.

There is little we can do to prevent the scams of the future from being crafted, but we can stay informed and be prepared for them in case we are targeted. Trust your instincts. If you think you may have been targeted, act immediately by contacting a trusted IT professional like Huber & Associates. We’ll help you find and implement the right cybersecurity solutions for your business. Couple that our alongside business continuity and disaster recovery services and your business will keep moving with maximum productivity.