Email Fraud Increases

Throughout the APAC region, including Australia and New Zealand, ransomware, supply chains, BEC, online shopping scams, fraud, online banking, identity theft and romance scams are consistent threats, with phishing the most successful attack vector.

According to the IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022, which includes data for 2021, Japan, Australia and India were the most-attacked countries in Asia. This was consistent with the findings reported in the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. The most common type of breaches that took place in APAC was caused by financially-motivated attackers who were phishing employees for credentials and then using those stolen credentials to gain access to email accounts and web application servers. Verizon also reported that 70% of attacks in APAC contained a social engineering action.

Over the 2020–21 financial year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year. A cyber incident is reported every eight minutes in this region.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been and continues to be a trending topic in phishing and spearphishing campaigns designed to obtain valuable information and financial gain in addition to the usual cybercriminal playbook. According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, health service providers were the most targeted sector, followed by Finance, Legal, Accounting and Management Services, Personal Services and finally, Education and Insurance. In addition, approximately one-quarter of reported cyber incidents were associated with critical infrastructure or essential services.

The global cost of this kind of cybercrime is now in the billions of dollars. As the scams become more sophisticated, and the use of email for business activities continues to grow as the facsimile and other outdated technologies decline, it is more important than ever to ensure your business is protected.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) states that 43% of cybercrime targets smaller businesses. The dangerous idea of being “too small to be worth targeting” can make some businesses particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack. The scary truth is, according to Kate Carnell of the ASBFEO, 22% of small businesses which suffered from this kind of attack were so affected they could not operate.

“60% of small businesses that experience a significant cyber breach go out of business within the following six months.” – Kate Carnell (ASBFEO)

Protecting your business from these attacks is a complex matter. It is no longer possible to rely only on hope and good fortune. And with the use of phishing emails to trap unsuspecting users, simply running antivirus can no longer guaranty your protection.

Phishing emails target the users, not just the business. Every user you have is likely to be targeted at some point, and it only takes one incident for an attack to occur. The emails will look like genuine contacts from suppliers or utilities, or financial institutions. They will direct the user to a link which opens a fake login page, and once the user “logs in”, the scammer has all they need to achieve their goal.

They will obtain credentials for email accounts, bank accounts, or other online services, and with those fraudulent or extortionist activities can be carried out against the target.

“The explosive growth of email-based fraud requires a multi layered approach to security that includes virus scanning software, staff training and cloud-based email filtering. There’s never been a better time to take on the challenge of breach-proofing your company.” – MailGuard

If you are concerned with your current level of security or wish to ensure you are fully protected against the rising levels of phishing scams and other cybercrime, call us. MicrotechDPS are here to help and can provide you with all the tools and expertise you need in this era of digital evolution.

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