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‘Tis the Season to be Scammed


It was just yesterday that most of the world was in lockdown, then today we look up and it is half way through November 2023. It sometimes feels like 3 years have been condensed into 1.

The Rolling Stones just released a new album, The Beatles have released a new song & both rushed to the top of the charts - it appears that history continues to repeat itself.

I will not go on about all the things that have changed, or the increased number of cyber attacks or improvements to cyber criminals methods, I will rather focus this article on the things that keep coming back, end of year scams.

While we wait in anticipation of the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday around the world and deal with the festive specials and Christmas music in stores (in November) keep an eye out for the #cybergrinch who will be trying to make this a year of losses.

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It’s not like it’s a motor car, its more valuable than that

Nobody will want to target us, we have nothing to steal. We are not important enough. We are not big enough. All our email is in the cloud, so we are ok. These are some of the excuses we hear from Small and Medium business owners when we speak to them about the cyber risk associated with their email systems. Yet they all know how to protect physical company assets, like a motor vehicle.

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Breach is the Word?

Cyber security J2Is The Second Half of 2023 Your Time to Shine?

The last three years have proven that most of what we understand to be correct can be changed in days. Those restful days of small and incremental changes to the environment in which we operate are gone. We live in the time of hyper connected, rapidly changing events that we have no control over and even less chance of predicting. Whether it is global events such as war, pandemics or local events like flooding or massive inflation; the perfect storm of uncertainty has pushed us into the world of heightened risk and increasing attack surfaces.

Uncertainty drives many things including the ability of cyber criminals to use our fear to spread their attacks and tempting our trusted people to lean towards the dark side. We have seen a large number of insider driven attacks, many of which are accidental or negligent but a growing number of these start with the compromise of a trusted user. When seen as a victimless crime, many take the bait and provide access intentionally. The time of the super malicious insider is with us.

Without visibility and the capability to understand intent, you will only know something has been going on when your name is shining in the lights of breach notifications. Not the kind of shine most people are working towards.

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What have you been doing John?

I am constantly seeing and hearing more talk about the risk posed by insiders when it comes to business risk. The talk of insider risk and the threat to the business, threats to compliance and security has been amplified in recent weeks, yet very few businesses have any form of Insider Risk Management program in place. 

Why is this?

Do we not know where to start, or are we scared of what we might find?

Large and small business all show different levels of support or acceptance of the importance of insider threats. Sadly, the importance they place on these are totally worthless if only in words.

In the last couple of weeks we have seen reports of top secret government information being leaked/lost/copied on different sides of the Atlantic.

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Mitigating the risk of zero-day attacks against Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 servers contain extremely sensitive information and most organisations simply cannot do without it for an extended period of time. Zero-day attacks – those attacks that take advantage of a vulnerability in software or firmware, and found by cybercriminals before a vendor can issue a fix – are one of the cybercriminal’s greatest advantages.Mitigating the risk of zero day attacks against Microsoft 365

Often providing privileged access, zero-day attacks become the means for a single cybercriminal group to potentially gain access to literally tens or hundreds of thousands of organisations in every geography, industry vertical, size and country. There are even posts on the dark web by cybercriminal gangs offering as much as $3 million for a zero-day remote code execution exploit.

According to a recent analysis, there were 80 zero-day vulnerabilities exploited in 2021, a 166% increase from 2020, with Microsoft, Apple and Google products most frequently targeted.

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