With internet security dangers and data privacy breaches making headlines, banks and social media firms have stepped up their protection for customers against email scams. However, travel and healthcare industries remain vulnerable.
Email is one of the most common methods used by criminals to target their victims; these hackers impersonate trusted firms and brands in order to con people out of their personal information. Agari, a security solution business recently surveyed industries which appear to be failing in protecting their users from these types of threat.The report, which scanned 147 industries across 11 countries, found that there was an overall 8% improvement across all industries. But major banks were most at risk of failing to provide adequate protection for their users.
Banks are still the prime target for internet criminals wanting your personal information, a scammer’s prime objective is money, and where better than a bank?
Because of this increased risk and attention from hackers, banks have adapted to protect their users against these threats from scammers. CapitalOne and JP Morgan Chase for example, appear in the so-called Agari 100 Club, which is reserved for companies that receive a TrustScore of 100. Top social media companies, Facebook and Twitter also rank in that group.
Criminals are now finding these industries much harder to infiltrate and impersonate, and are beginning to target other sectors in order to scam internet users.
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According to recent figures, the travel industry has experienced an 800% increase in threats in this year alone. Experts say that travelers are natural targets for a type of scam they call ‘social engineering’, which preys on the emotional responses of its victims. Scams often involve an email with fake flight-booking confirmation, which then involves the victim handing over personal information in order to, falsely, ‘rectify’ the mix-up.
The healthcare industry also appears to be lacking, and in the report scoredthe lowest TrustScore across all industries. Out of the 14 companies scanned, 13 were found to be highly vulnerable to cybercriminals.
But how can businesses and individuals protect themselves from these risks?
Email security provider, Mimecast, acknowledge that today’s threat landscape is in constant flux, and many services are implementing multiple layers of security, to ‘cover all bases’, noting that third party security is now the best way to complement and support existing services. With different types of threats emerging every day and security risks fluid in nature, multiple security measures are now being adopted by most organizations keen to ensure air-tight security. Mimecast provide a Broad Spectrum Email Security for Office 365, which delivers real-time email security to protect your business and your users from email threats. They also offer an advanced encryption, to reduce the risk of emails and private information being intercepted. The service is also implemented across all devices, as experts now warn of an increase in security breaches over mobile devices, where our attention and alertness may be minimal.
We often read and reply to emails on our phone when we are more tired or distracted, such as on the journey to or from work, this makes us more vulnerable to scammers as we are not as wary or alert. Experts suggest implementing an email security service that covers all devices. Protecting our private information has now become more important than ever, with security threats increasing and adapting every day, security providers are fighting to keep ahead. But the main thing users must remember is to be vigilant and know the warning signs, if that email doesn’t look right, then the chances are it’s not. Industries too are now improving the security it offers to users, so if in doubt, contact them directly, through contact details available on their site and not through the email they supposedly sent you.
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