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How Cyber Criminals use Christmas to their advantage!

Cyber Criminals have become adept as using certain times of the year to launch attacks, alongside the tax year end, Christmas is a major opportunity for them. This year, as like many more before it, we expect to see cyber-attacks, phishing scams as well as fraudulent websites/emails all looking to compromise your systems.

Email is the number one weapon used by these criminals and the attacks are coming more and more sophisticated.  Spoofed emails are emails created with a sole purpose of fooling the recipient into believing the email originated from a genuine source, using familiar company names and logos. They usually include either malicious links taking you to a fake website which asks for your account details, or an attachment which installs malware onto your PC.

With parcel deliveries at their peak during the festive period, many users/companies are awaiting important time critical packages, emails from delivery companies such as TNT & Royal Mail are probably something you’ll see pretty regularly.  However these are exactly the kind of emails Cyber Criminals use for their attacks as most people use internet shopping and could be receiving unexpected deliveries.

The best way to protect your company from these types of attacks is to use a multi-layer protection model on your computer systems, the days of just using anti-virus software are long gone.  Multi-layer security comprises of a number of services including, endpoint antivirus, email antivirus & antispam, web protection and patch management, all available as part of SystemCare.

However, another important part of multi-layer security is education. Cyber Criminals are constantly probing IT systems and security products for vulnerabilities, which they use to launch mass attacks. Once these attacks are identified, the IT security industry is extremely quick to issue updates to stop them, however there is still a small period of time when attacks get through.

We would encourage users who receive an email regarding; an unexpected delivery, an order they haven’t placed, or online account suspension, to always pause before opening any attachment or web link and think about the following:

If you have any doubts close the email and go to the relevant web site independently and check your accounts for orders or in the case of deliveries use the tracking number from the email (remembering not to use the email link).  If you are still unsure contact the sender by phone (do not use any phone number on the email) or contact MT Services for advice.

Justin Mason – Managed Services Executive