cybercrime in 2021The more you know about the different types of cybersecurity issues and attacks faced by today’s business owners, the easier it is to make sure that you have everything in place to recover from cybercrime in 2021. Many of the Greater Boston takeover attacks that we read about in the news or hear about from colleagues are based on a specific technique known as a social engineering attack. In fact, one recent report reveals that the focus of network security in Boston should center more on providing education, training, and support for employees than anything else. Establishing a solid backup and recovery plan, providing staff training, and offering ongoing support is the best line of defense for businesses of all sizes. While 2020 may have been one of the biggest years for cybercrime throughout America and worldwide, there are things you can do today to prevent becoming a victim of account takeovers in 2021.

What is a Takeover Attack?

One of the first things you need to know about Greater Boston takeover attacks is what they are, how they work, and who they target. A takeover attack enables the cybercriminal to steal login credentials and take control over an online account. The primary way that these criminals gain access to a company’s credentials is through something known as a social engineering attack. While tech-savvy hackers may have once been considered the most significant threat, today’s cyber criminals focus more on fooling employees and, in some cases, business owners into handing over the information they need to gain access to an account. In fact, a study released by Kaspersky revealed that from 2019 through the end of 2020, takeover attacks were the most common method of fraud at nearly 55 percent of all attacks worldwide.

With many businesses resorting to remote work situations during the pandemic, cybercriminals took advantage of lax security, reduced training, and lack of information for employees to exploit popular social engineering techniques. In addition to the use of email phishing scams designed to look as though they come from co-workers, supervisors, and other company higher-ups, many successful social engineering attack methods involve the use of phone calls. Voice phishing is when a direct call is made to the victim. In the most recent cases, the scams involve a call to the target posing as a security expert or investment consultant from a bank or other financial institution. The call begins by warning of potential fraudulent charges or activity and convinces the target to submit an SMS second-factor code, bank card number, and other login details. This can be for a company bank account or even credentials for the individual’s personal accounts.

Avoiding Cybercrime in 2021

Most businesses, banks, and institutions with second-factor code logins or high-security credentials will repeatedly warn customers, employees, and others with access to never share this sensitive information. Unfortunately, many of these cybercriminals are very good at what they do. They can convince even the most paranoid employee or bank customer into providing the data they need to login to the account. Once the fraudster has that banking information, they can log in to the victim’s account, drain the funds, change passwords and second-factor code details, and much more. In some instances, they will apply for credit cards and loans using the company’s or individual’s good credit. These social engineering attack methods have been on the rise for a while now, and even the FBI has warned businesses to be on guard.

One study revealed that as many as 80 percent of employees working from home reported being targeted by a phishing attack in 2020. That figure is up significantly from just around 70 percent in the previous year. Beefing up your network security in Boston is always recommended, but it also pays to focus on other security types as well, including employee education and support. Financial businesses or companies with online account access should warn customers regularly about the latest fraud trends and how to identify them. Consider working with a team of professionals to provide you with the training, support, and services necessary to thwart Greater Boston takeover attacks and help you protect your essential data. Contact Synivate today at 617-848-1248 to speak with one of our team members about the professional monitoring, management, and security services available.