You are being targeted to be hacked
If I had to ask what are the world’s valuable commodities I expect to hear things like oil, gold, diamonds, textiles but there is one more commodity that has been added to the list: Data.
Our lives have become data – 1s and 0s. We don’t get cash from the bank teller, we log onto the app and EFT money moving the 1s and 0s from our account to another.
Where there is value, there is also someone who wants to take it from us – the cyber hacker.
Over time we have seen the cat and mouse game between the cybercriminal unfold. As the hacker becomes more sophisticated, finding new ways to steal information, the technology companies finds better ways to block those attacks.
Regardless of the tech, there is one constant that has remained the same over the years – the weakest link in the chain is the human. There is still the human element that makes the final decision to click on a link, to download the software, to insert that USB stick, to connect that device to the WiFi.
This is who the hackers are after now. The individual.
Sending mass generic emails has a certain success rate, but protection software learns about these generic mails quickly and blocks them. Therefore the hacker has changed their methods from “mass” to “pin-point” individuals. We are conditioned to ignore mail from people we don’t know, however our guard is down when we receive mail from people we communicate regularly with. Hackers watch our social media, our corporate communication and mimics people we interact with. This is known as Spear Phishing. It is effective as it is so personal that it bypasses both the software protection and our own intuition that something is wrong. We are much more likely to click on a link in an email form someone we just chatted to on Twitter than a link from a random stranger.
Cant software deal with Spear Phishing ?
Yes and No. Mimecast is a software as a service company which is a line of defence that filters our incoming mail. The software scans all email and looks for any hyperlinks in emails to check whether they are malicious or not. Those that are clearly dodgy are automatically removed and those that legitimate are allowed through. However, with the rate of change the technology can’t always block everything and is then down to the individual to make the decision to click on the link or not. Mimecast’s new version of Targeted Threat Protection teaches people why links are malicious when they click on them by alerting them to the URL which may look like fnb.co.za but is actually fbn.co.za, or ‘sars’ says ‘sar’, etc.
Teaching the Human Firewall
Mimecast has been placing a lot of emphasis on education the “human” as it’s a joint partnership between people and technology to safeguard our information. On 10th of September there is a FREE “Human Firewall Event” where Mimecast will be teaching all about these attacks and how to protect yourself. Sign up here
*headline image from Shutterstock.com