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Imagine a workplace where every employee is vigilant against cyberthreats, a place where security isn’t just a protocol but a mindset. In the era of hybrid work, achieving this vision is not just ideal — it’s a necessity.

While implementing security controls and tools is crucial, the true strength lies in empowering your workforce to prioritize security. Without their buy-in, even the most advanced defenses can be rendered ineffective.

Building a security-first culture in a hybrid work environment is a complex but achievable task. It requires a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that not only involves but also empowers your workforce. Let’s explore how to create such a strategy.

 

Key Components of a Good Cybersecurity Strategy

Here are the critical components that can take your cybersecurity strategy to the next level:

 

Perimeter-Less Technology

In a hybrid work model, employees work from various locations and collaborate online. This means upgrading your security systems to match the demands of this environment type.

Invest in cloud-based SaaS applications that are accessible from anywhere. Ensure your applications support Zero-Trust architecture, a security concept centered on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside their perimeters. Instead, they must verify anything and everything trying to connect to their systems before granting access.

 

Documented Policies and Procedures

Clearly document your security policies and procedures to ensure enforcement. Without documentation, staff may not understand the purpose or steps involved, leading to a lack of buy-in.

Identify critical IT policies and procedures, document them, and share them with the relevant teams and staff. Keep the files up-to-date and accessible. Review policies periodically and make changes as needed.

Our Incident Response Planning blog will walk you through the common mistakes, myths and misconceptions that can stop you from building a strong response plan. We’ll also share simple solutions that will help you safely navigate cyber challenges.

 

Security Awareness Training Programs

Make your employees the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Set up interactive training programs to defend against phishing, ransomware, brute-force password attacks and social engineering.

Create training videos and a comprehensive repository dedicated to security protocols and SOPs. Reinforce learning with routine tests and simulations.

 

Communication and Support Channels

Define communication and support channels to handle threats effectively. Ensure every staff member knows how to raise an alarm, whom to contact and what to do after reporting it.

Outline approved tools for communication and collaboration, discouraging personal apps for official use.

 

Friction-Free Systems and Strategies

When devising new security strategies or evaluating systems, prioritize user experience and efficiency. Ensure that security measures and policies don’t feel like extra work or employees may abandon security best practices. Align security systems and strategies with workflows for a seamless experience.

 

Next Steps

Building a security-first culture is challenging, especially in a hybrid work environment. To succeed, you need skilled staff, 24/7 support and specialized tools.

But you don’t have to navigate this alone.

Databranch can guide you through implementing and managing the necessary IT/cybersecurity and data security controls. Don’t wait for a breach to happen — proactively secure your business.

Fill out the form below to set up a no-obligation consultation and take the first step towards a secure future.

AI has become a buzzword that often evokes a mix of awe, doubt, and even fear. Especially when it comes to cybersecurity. However, the fact is that if used effectively AI can revolutionize the way businesses like yours operate.

That’s why you must cut through the noise and separate fact from fiction if you want to leverage AI effectively. In this blog, we’ll debunk some common misconceptions about AI in cybersecurity.

Let’s dive in.

AI in Cybersecurity: Fact from Fiction

There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding AI in cybersecurity. Let’s dispel some of these common AI myths:

 

Myth: AI is the Cybersecurity Silver Bullet

Fact: AI isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for cybersecurity. While it can efficiently analyze data and detect threats, it’s not an easy fix for everything. You can use AI security solutions as part of a multi-pronged cybersecurity strategy to automate tasks and pinpoint complex threats.

 

Myth: AI Makes Your Business Invincible

Fact:  Cybercriminals are always finding new ways to exploit your IT systems, and it’s only a matter of time before they discover ways to breach AI solutions as well. AI alone can’t protect your business. Think of AI as a top-notch security system that is made better through regular vulnerability updates and staff education.

Databranch believes that investing in employee security awareness can transform your workforce into a formidable line of defense, safeguarding your business from cybercriminals and ensuring a more resilient future. Visit us here to learn more.

 

Myth: AI is a Perfect Tool and Always Knows what it’s Doing

Fact: Don’t trust all the marketing gimmicks around AI. Yes, AI security is indeed a “super cool” tool. But keep in mind that AI is still an evolving technology, and there’s much to be perfected. Some companies make loud claims about their AI security tools. An honest vendor, however, will tell you that AI is not magic. If you give it time, AI can learn and adapt on its own.

 

Myth: AI Does Everything on its Own

Fact:  AI doesn’t fly solo! While AI is great at sniffing out suspicious activities, it still requires human intervention. You can set the goals for AI, analyze what it finds and make the final call on security decisions. There are also times when AI can sound the alarm for no reason; that’s when you need the expertise of your security team to say, “False alarm!”

Databranch utilizes an Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution for M365 that has an integration into your Cloud environment where the MDR application begins collecting user, tenant and application data.

If the software detects unusual behavior within your tenant, it sends an alert to a 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) which is comprised of experts who analyze and interpret these threats in real time. An MDR employee will then review your threat detection, provide an incident report, and will deliver actionable remediations to help you resolve the issue.

Having a balance between computer automations plus employee reviews are important in cybersecurity. 

 

Myth: AI is for Big Companies with Deep Pockets

Fact:  AI security solutions are now within reach for businesses of all sizes as they are becoming more affordable and easier to use. Moreover, the availability of cloud-based AI solutions means that businesses, regardless of their size, can leverage AI without breaking the bank.

 

Empower your cybersecurity

Fortify your business with the help of AI-powered cybersecurity solutions. Don’t do it alone. Get some expert help by partnering with an experienced IT service provider like Databranch. Our IT experts can assist you in understanding your security needs, finding the perfect solutions for your business and ensuring they’re implemented effectively.

Contact us today at 716-373-4467 option 6, [email protected] or visit us here for a free consultation and learn how we can keep your business safe in the digital age.

For businesses, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions offer unparalleled opportunities to enhance efficiency, scalability and overall operations. However, growing SaaS backup-related misconceptions also have the potential to hurt your business growth.

In this blog, we’ll shed light on some SaaS-related truths you simply cannot afford to ignore. Let’s dive in.

 

Don’t let these Myths put your Business at Risk

As businesses move to the cloud, here are some common misconceptions that need to be dispelled:

 

Myth 1: My SaaS solution is completely secure.

While leading SaaS solutions like Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce do offer top-of-the-line security along with robust recovery features, the truth is that they aren’t completely foolproof against all threats. They can’t protect your business data from malicious insiders, accidental deletions or hackers.

 

Solution: By regularly backing up your cloud data, you can protect it against a wide range of threats and unforeseen disasters.

 

Myth 2: My SaaS provider is solely responsible for my data security.

There is a widely held misconception that your SaaS provider is solely responsible for protecting your cloud data. The truth, however, is more nuanced. While a provider is expected to implement robust security to protect your data, businesses also are expected to play an active role.

 

Solution: Proactive steps like training your employees on data security best practices and implementing access control steps can ensure your data remains secure in the cloud.

 

Myth 3: My SaaS provider’s backup is all I need.

While some of the top SaaS providers offer features such as Recycle Bins and Vaults that can store accidentally deleted files, these solutions have limitations and don’t offer comprehensive backup and recovery.

 

Solution: Consider taking the help of Databranch. Our team of IT experts can not only help to securely back up your data but also help you enhance your cloud security.

 

Elevate your data security with a strategic partnership

Ready to empower your business with an advanced backup and recovery strategy? Contact Databranch today and let us help you build a comprehensive SaaS backup and recovery strategy that suits your business needs.

Let data recovery be the last of your worries! Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how our IT team can be your strategic partner. You can also download our free infographic today to learn more about the Shared Responsibility Model.

Are you prepared to face a cybersecurity breach, a natural disaster or a system failure? Such disruptive events can strike at any moment, causing chaos and confusion.

But don’t worry. With an effective incident response plan in place, you can handle any incident with confidence.

This blog is intended to help you enhance your plan simply and straightforwardly. So, let’s dive in and make sure you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

 

Best Practices for Effective Incident Response Planning

To be well-prepared for any incident, it’s important to follow the steps below:

 

1. Identify and Prioritize Critical Data and Assets

Knowing precisely what resources you have helps you allocate them efficiently during an incident, saving time and minimizing overall damage. Threat modeling is a process used in cybersecurity that is beneficial in this regard. It involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities to an organization’s assets and systems.

 

2. Establish a Dedicated Team

A cohesive and well-trained team with clearly defined roles can work together to ensure an efficient and effective response.

 

3. Conduct Regular Trainings

Regular training helps keep your team informed of the latest techniques and threats, ensuring they can handle any situation with confidence. Our Breach Prevention Platform and Security Awareness Training that comes with simulated phishing tests that will train your employees in spotting real world threats.

 

4. Implement Continuous Monitoring 

Continuous monitoring systems can detect incidents early and take action before they escalate, potentially saving your organization from significant damage.

It is critical for any business to survive and thrive in today’s cybersecurity environment which is why Databranch provides a 24 x 7 proactive monitoring and alerting service for our managed clients. Visit us here to learn more and get started.

 

5. Establish Clear Communication Channels 

Clear communication channels within your team and with external stakeholders ensure that everyone is on the same page during the response, minimizing confusion and errors.

 

6. Develop a System to Categorize Incidents

Categorizing incidents based on their severity and impact ensures that you can respond appropriately to each incident, minimizing long-term damage to your organization.

 

How we can Help

All businesses today must have a solid incident response plan against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. That’s where Databranch can be your strategic partner and your first line of defense against cyberstorms.

If you’re uncertain about how to approach incident response planning, we can help you in the following ways:

 

  • We’ll customize an incident response plan that aligns with your goals and challenges.
  • We’ll identify vulnerabilities and rank incident response planning through risk assessments.
  • We’ll help you build a fully equipped incident response team with clear roles.
  • We’ll suggest and apply advanced security technologies to boost your detection and responsibilities.
  • We’ll establish continuous monitoring to detect and respond to potential security incidents quickly.
  • We’ll ensure that your incident response plan complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • We’ll assist with post-incident analysis to refine response plans based on lessons learned.

 

Take Control of your Incident Response Plan

Don’t wait for a security breach to happen. Our team has years of experience and expertise to ensure the safety of your data. Take charge of your incident response plan now by contacting us at 716-373-4467 option 6, or [email protected] to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our team of experts.

You can also download our infographic to review the 4 stages of an incident response plan.

Worried about cyberattacks hitting your business? You’re not alone.

Cyberattacks pose a real danger to businesses like yours and without a solid incident response plan, your business won’t be able to recover quickly, resulting in extensive losses. The good news, however, is that an incident response plan can help.

Through this blog, we’ll show you the common mistakes, myths and misconceptions that can stop you from building a strong response plan. We’ll also share simple solutions that will help you safely navigate cyber challenges.

 

Avoid these Mistakes to Build a Strong Response Plan

Here are a few common mistakes that all businesses should avoid:

 

Mistake 1: Thinking cyber incidents only come from external attacks

  • By ignoring internal threats, you’re creating opportunities for cyberattacks.
  • Internal mistakes, like ineffective processes or human errors due to inadequate training, can also lead to data breaches.

Solution: Invest in your employees and set up a process

  • Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices and establish protocols for handling sensitive information.
  • Periodically review your internal processes. This will help you find and resolve issues in your procedures that could lead to data leakage.
  • Looking for an effective cybersecurity training platform? Reach out to Databranch today to discuss our Breach Prevention Platform and Security Awareness Training that comes with simulated phishing tests.

 

Mistake 2: Focusing only on technology

  • You can’t build an effective incident response plan by solely focusing on technology. While tech solutions are valuable, they’re only effective when they are efficiently leveraged by a team of trained personnel.
  • A solid response plan goes beyond technology and includes communication plans, legal considerations and damage control strategies.

Solution: Build a complete response plan

  • Train your response team on both tools and processes. Don’t focus solely on the technology.
  • Develop clear communication protocols.
  • Define clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure your team understands your legal obligation to report and comply with data breach regulations.

 

Mistake 3: Not updating your response plan

  • It’s a common misconception that an incident response plan, once created, need not be updated. However, the truth is, without regular review, updates and practice, a response plan will become ineffective.
  • Also, without simulations and post-incident analysis, you won’t be able to find the root cause of a problem and avoid future reoccurrence.

Solution: Consistently review your response plan

  • Establish a process to hold regular reviews.
  • Adapt your response plan to keep up with the evolving threat landscape.
  • Conduct periodic simulations to refine your response strategy and ensure team readiness.

The above-mentioned solutions will help you build a proactive incident response plan. However, the best strategy is to get the help of experts, like Databranch, who have the proper resources and tools. 

Databranch not only offers a suite of cost-effective managed services that proactively monitor and support your network and technology infrastructure, but our backup and recovery solution can quickly restore your environment and have you up and running if a disaster were to occur. 

Building Resilience: Partner for a Robust Incident Response Plan.

Ready to fortify your business against cyberthreats? Use the form below to download our checklist and take a step towards starting your incident response plan.

All businesses today must have a solid incident response plan against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. That’s where Databranch can be your strategic partner and your first line of defense against cyberstorms.

Choose a partner who can give you complete peace of mind. Reach out today at 716-373-4467 option 6, or [email protected]

 

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, where cyberthreats and vulnerabilities continually emerge, it’s obvious that eliminating all risk is impossible. Yet, there’s a powerful strategy that can help address your organization’s most critical security gaps, threats and vulnerabilities — comprehensive cyber risk management.

Implementing a well-thought-out cyber risk management strategy can significantly reduce overall risks and strengthen your cyber defenses. To understand the profound impact of this approach, continue reading as we delve into the nuances that make it a game changer in digital security.

 

Cyber Risk Management vs. Traditional Approaches

Cyber risk management diverges significantly from traditional approaches, differing in the following key aspects:

 

Comprehensive Approach

Cyber risk management isn’t just an additional layer of security. It’s a comprehensive approach that integrates risk identification, assessment and mitigation into your decision-making process. This ensures there are no gaps that could later jeopardize your operations.

 

Beyond Technical Controls

Unlike traditional approaches that often focus solely on technical controls and defenses, cyber risk management takes a broader perspective. It considers various organizational factors, including the cybersecurity culture, business processes and data management practices, ensuring a more encompassing and adaptive security strategy.

 

Risk-Based Decision-Making

In traditional cybersecurity, technical measures are frequently deployed without clear links to specific risks. Cyber risk management, however, adopts a risk-based approach. It involves Threat Modeling, which is a deep analysis of potential threats, their impact, and likelihood.

Threat modeling helps businesses prioritize their risk management and mitigation strategies. The goal is to mitigate the risk of falling victim to a costly cyber incident

 

Alignment with Business Objectives

A distinctive feature of cyber risk management is its alignment with your overarching business objectives. It ensures that your cybersecurity strategy takes into account your mission, goals and critical assets, thereby making it more relevant to your organization’s success.

 

Holistic View of Security

Cyber risk management recognizes the significance of people, processes and technology, embracing a holistic view of security. It acknowledges that a robust security strategy is not solely dependent on technology but also on the people implementing it and the processes that guide its deployment.

This is why Employee Security Awareness training can make such an impact on your businesses cybersecurity posture.  You and your colleagues are your company’s greatest risk, but also your greatest asset. Visit us here to learn more about our advanced cybersecurity training program.

 

Resource Allocation

By prioritizing risks based on their potential impact and likelihood, cyber risk management allows you to allocate resources more effectively. This means that your organization can focus on the areas of cybersecurity that matter the most, optimizing resource utilization.

 

The Role of Risk Tolerance in Cyber Risk Management

Risk tolerance is a pivotal aspect of enterprise risk management (ERM). It serves as a guiding principle, shaping your organization’s risk-taking behavior, influencing decision-making and providing a framework for achieving objectives while maintaining an acceptable level of risk.

Key components of risk tolerance are:

 

Willingness to Take Risks

Risk tolerance in cyber risk management is about your organization’s readiness to embrace calculated risks by acknowledging that not all risks can be eliminated. It shapes your organization’s ability to innovate and seize opportunities while maintaining an acceptable level of security risk.

 

The Capacity to Absorb Losses

This component of risk tolerance assesses your organization’s financial resilience. It’s about having a financial buffer to absorb losses without jeopardizing your core operations, ensuring that you can recover from security incidents without severe disruption.

 

Consideration of Strategic Objectives and Long-Term Goals

Risk tolerance should be in harmony with your strategic objectives and long-term goals. It ensures that your risk-taking behavior is aligned with your organization’s broader mission, avoiding actions that could undermine your strategic direction.

Visit us here to learn more about how to conduct a Technology Infrastructure Review and how to incorporate the results into your IT objectives roadmap.

 

Compliance and Regulatory Considerations

Meeting compliance and regulatory requirements is an essential aspect of risk tolerance. It means understanding the legal and regulatory landscape and ensuring that your risk management strategy adheres to these standards, reducing the risk of legal consequences.

 

Meeting the Expectations of Customers and Stakeholders

A critical part of risk tolerance is understanding and meeting the expectations of your customers and stakeholders. It involves maintaining the trust and confidence of these groups by demonstrating that you prioritize their interests and data security in your risk management approach.

 

Collaborative Path to Success

Now that you understand how cyber risk management empowers organizations like yours to strengthen your defenses, it’s time to take action. Download our comprehensive checklist to navigate the four essential stages of cyber risk management. This resource will guide you in implementing a tailored strategy that meets your unique needs.

Don’t wait for the next cyberthreat to strike. Reach out to Databranch today at 716-373-4467 option 6, or [email protected] to start the process of making your organization more secure. Together, we’ll enhance your digital defenses, secure your organization’s future and prioritize your security.

 

The rise of AI has sparked a revolution. Everyone, from industry giants to smaller enterprises, is captivated and eager to leverage AI’s endless possibilities.

However, amid the celebrations of AI’s merits, let’s not ignore its potential risks. A new array of cyberthreats emerges when intricate AI algorithms cross paths with malicious cyber elements. From AI-powered phishing schemes to ultra-realistic deepfakes, these dangers serve as a reminder to stay vigilant and prepared.

In this blog, we embark on a journey to explore AI benefits and risks. Our aim is to guide you in harnessing AI’s strengths while safeguarding against its potential pitfalls.

AI’s Positive Impact on Business

The top benefits of AI include:

Smart Data Analysis

AI’s expertise lies in swiftly deciphering massive data sets to uncover patterns. This ability proves invaluable in traversing through modern markets. The insights derived empower you to make well-founded decisions, steering clear of guesswork.

Boosted Productivity

AI’s automation prowess liberates your employees from mundane tasks, helping them focus on more critical tasks. Tedious and manual work can now be done seamlessly without human intervention, boosting productivity.

Faster Business Maneuvering

In an ever-evolving technological landscape, keeping up to date is paramount. AI empowers you to process and respond to real-time information promptly. This agility enables swift reactions to evolving scenarios, customer demands and opportunities.

AI’s Cyber Challenges

As we delve into the world of AI, we must also acknowledge the potential risks:

AI-powered Phishing Scams

Sneaky cybercriminals employ AI-driven chatbots to create impeccable phishing emails without the usual red flags, such as grammar errors. These attacks exploit human vulnerabilities, luring even the most vigilant to share sensitive information.

To bolster your defense, exercise caution with emails from unfamiliar sources. Scrutinize sender details, avoid suspicious links and employ anti-phishing tools for added protection.

Malicious AI-Generated Code

Cybercriminals harness AI tools for swift code generation, surpassing manual capabilities. These generated code snippets find their way into malware and other malicious software.

Defend against these intricate schemes by educating your team about them. Strengthen your defenses through layered security measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software and automated patch management.

Is your company looking for on-going cybersecurity training? Our Breach Prevention Platform and Security Awareness Training will give your employees the resources they need to spot real world phishing attempts. Contact Databranch today to learn more!

Deepfakes and Impersonations

AI-generated deepfakes can propagate misinformation, deceiving unsuspecting individuals and leading to fraud or character defamation. For example, in the current era, where many banks rely on online KYC (KYC or Know Your Customer is commonly implemented in banks to comply with regulatory requirements and mitigate the risk of financial crimes), malicious actors can create ultra-realistic videos using another person’s voice and image samples to open accounts for illegal transactions.

Identifying deepfakes necessitates a discerning eye. Among other factors, anomalies in skin texture, blinking patterns and facial shadows help distinguish genuine content from manipulated content.

Collaborative Path to Success

At the crossroads of innovation and challenges, knowledge takes center stage.

Our comprehensive eBook, “Shielding Your Enterprise: A Guide to Navigating AI Safety,” stands as your compass in the AI landscape. Fill out the form below to delve into AI’s intricacies and acquire strategies for responsible and secure utilization in your business.

If you need expert guidance, Databranch is here to help you navigate todays threat landscape. Contact us today at 716-373-4467 x6 or [email protected] and together, we’ll navigate AI’s realm, harness its power and ensure your organization’s safety.

Social media has significantly transformed the way we communicate and do business. However, this growing popularity also comes with potential risks that could cause harm to businesses like yours.

Unfortunately, many organizations remain unaware of these rapidly evolving challenges. In this blog, we will explore the dangers associated with social media and share practical tips to safeguard your organization’s reputation and financial stability so that you can safely reap the benefits of social media platforms.

Exploring the Risks

Social media presents several risks that you need to address, such as:

Security Breaches

Cybercriminals can exploit social media to steal sensitive information by creating fake profiles and content to trick people into sharing confidential data. Social media platforms are also vulnerable to hacking, which can have a negative impact on your business.

Reputation Damage

Negative comments from dissatisfied customers, envious competitors or even unhappy employees can quickly spread online and cause significant damage to your brand’s image within seconds.

Employee Misconduct

Certain employees may share offensive content or leak confidential information on social media, which can trigger a crisis that can be challenging for business leaders to handle.

Legal Accountability

Social media has the potential to blur the boundaries between personal and professional lives, which can, in turn, create legal liabilities for your business. If your employees make malicious remarks about competitors, clients or individuals, the public can hold you responsible for their actions. Employees may also face the consequences if their social media behavior violates the organization’s regulations.

Phishing Threats

Social media phishing scams can target your business and employees by installing malware or ransomware through seemingly authentic posts.

Fake LinkedIn Jobs

Cybercriminals often pose as recruiters on LinkedIn and post fake job listings to collect data for identity theft scams.

 

Securing Your Business

Taking proactive measures is essential to avoid social media risks, including:

Checking Privacy Settings

Set privacy settings to the highest level across all accounts, restricting your and your employees’ access to sensitive information. This includes removing Local Admin Privileges for employees.

Strengthening Security

Employ robust passwords and multifactor authentication (MFA) to bolster account security.

Establishing Clear Guidelines

Enforce clear social media rules for company and personal devices, customizing policies to fit your industry’s unique risks.

Educating Your Teams

Educate your team on social media risks, imparting safe practices to thwart scams and phishing attempts. Our Employee Cybersecurity Training not only offers an annual cybersecurity training, but also contains weekly micro-trainings to keep your employees up to date on real world threats.

Identifying Impersonation

Develop protocols to detect and manage fake profiles and impersonations swiftly. Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Vigilant Monitoring

Set up a system to monitor social media, promptly addressing fraudulent accounts or suspicious activity that could stain your brand image.

Act Now to Safeguard Your Business

Understanding the risks and adhering to social media best practices are crucial for businesses of all sizes. By following these guidelines, you can reduce your business’s vulnerability while reaping the rewards of social media.

For comprehensive insights into social media safety, download our eBook “From Vulnerability to Vigilance: Social Media Safety.”

Reach out to Databranch today at 716-373-4467 option 4 or [email protected] if your business is looking to increase their cybersecurity awareness.

Phishing scams remain one of the most prevalent and successful types of cyberattacks today, so being aware of the danger they pose to businesses like yours is extremely crucial. Your business could easily be the next victim if you don’t clearly understand how threat actors leverage phishing emails.

In this blog, you’ll learn the intent behind phishing emails, the various types of phishing attacks, and most importantly, how you can secure your email and business.

The Goal Behind Phishing Emails

Cybercriminals use phishing emails to lure unsuspecting victims into taking actions that will affect business operations, such as sending money, sharing passwords, downloading malware or revealing sensitive data. The primary intent behind a phishing attack is to steal your money, data or both.

Financial theft — The most common aim of a phishing attempt is to steal your money. Scammers use various tactics, such as business email compromise (BEC), to carry out fraudulent fund transfers or ransomware attacks to extort money.

Data theft — For cybercriminals, your data, such as usernames and passwords, identity information (e.g., social security numbers) and financial data (e.g., credit card numbers or bank account information), is as good as gold. They can use your login credentials to commit financial thefts or inject malware. Your sensitive data can also be sold on the dark web for profit.

Be vigilant and look out for these phishing attempts:

  • If an email asks you to click on a link, be wary. Scammers send out phishing emails with links containing malicious software that can steal your data and personal information.
  • If an email directs you to a website, be cautious. It could be a malicious website that can steal your personal information, such as your login credentials.
  • If an email contains an attachment, be alert. Malicious extensions disguised to look like a document, invoice or voicemail can infect your computer and steal your personal information.
  • If an email tries to rush you into taking an urgent action, such as transferring funds, be suspicious. Try to verify the authenticity of the request before taking any action.

 

Different Types of Phishing

It’s important to note that phishing attacks are constantly evolving and can target businesses of all sizes. While phishing emails are a common method used by cybercriminals, they also use texts, voice calls and social media messaging.

Here are the different kinds of phishing traps that you should watch out for:

Spear phishing — Scammers send highly personalized emails targeting individuals or businesses to convince them to share sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card information. Spear phishing emails are also used for spreading infected malware.

Whaling — A type of spear phishing, whale phishing or whaling is a scam targeting high-level executives where the perpetrators impersonate trusted sources or websites to steal information or money.

Smishing — An increasingly popular form of cyberattack, smishing uses text messages claiming to be from trusted sources to convince victims to share sensitive information or send money.

Vishing — Cybercriminals use vishing or voice phishing to call victims while impersonating somebody from the IRS, a bank or the victim’s office, to name a few. The primary intent of voice phishing is to convince the victim to share sensitive personal information.

Business email compromise (BEC) — A BEC is a spear phishing attack that uses a seemingly legitimate email address to trick the recipient, who is often a senior-level executive. The most common aim of a BEC scam is to convince an employee to send money to the cybercriminal while making them believe they are performing a legitimate, authorized business transaction.

Angler phishing — Also known as social media phishing, this type of scam primarily targets social media users. Cybercriminals with fake customer service accounts trick disgruntled customers into revealing their sensitive information, including bank details. Scammers often target financial institutions and e-commerce businesses.

Brand impersonation — Also known as brand spoofing, brand impersonation is a type of phishing scam carried out using emails, texts, voice calls and social media messages. Cybercriminals impersonate a popular business to trick its customers into revealing sensitive information. While brand impersonation is targeted mainly at the customers, the incident can tarnish the brand image.

 

Bolster Your Email Security

Emails are crucial for the success of your business. However, implementing email best practices and safety standards on your own can be challenging. That’s why you should consider partnering with a Managed IT service provider like Databranch.

We have the resources and tools to protect your business from cyberattacks, helping you to focus on critical tasks without any worry. We also have ongoing and interactive employee cybersecurity training that will help your company keep up with cybercriminals and their ever-changing tactics.

Meanwhile, to learn how to secure your inbox, download our eBook — Your Guide to Email Safety — that will help you improve your email security and avoid potential traps.

Your business, in all likelihood, already faces numerous challenges in today’s tech-driven world. However, the aftermath of an unexpected disaster can push your organization to its breaking point. This unintentionally creates opportunities for cybercriminals to launch devastating attacks, amplifying the chaos caused by such events.

Disaster preparedness should be a top priority for your business — not only for physical resilience but also for fortifying your digital defenses. By understanding how disasters fuel cyberattacks, you can proactively safeguard your business against these deceptive threats.

 

Understanding How Disasters Amplify Cyberthreats

Let’s look at four major ways disasters amplify cyberthreats and what strategies you can utilize to bolster your cybersecurity posture in the face of adversity.

 

1. Leveraging Diverted Attention and Resources

When a disaster strikes, the immediate focus shifts toward safety and recovery. Unfortunately, this diverts attention and resources away from maintaining and protecting your IT systems and networks.

With a reduced emphasis on cybersecurity measures, essential updates and monitoring may be overlooked, leaving your networks vulnerable to intrusion. Cybercriminals seize this opportunity to infiltrate your systems, compromise sensitive data and disrupt your operations.

To tackle this situation, establish a dedicated team responsible for monitoring and maintaining cybersecurity, even during times of crisis. For our managed clients, Databranch takes this one step further by implementing automated security systems to scan for vulnerabilities and apply necessary patches continuously.

By ensuring cybersecurity remains a priority, even in challenging times, you can minimize the risk of cyberattacks

 

2. Exploiting Fear, Urgency, Chaos and Uncertainty

Disasters create an environment of fear, urgency, chaos and uncertainty — prime conditions for cybercriminals to thrive in. They launch targeted attacks, such as deceptive emails or fraudulent websites, capitalizing on the sense of urgency and the need for quick solutions. By manipulating individuals into disclosing sensitive information, cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to critical systems. They could also sell this sensitive data on the dark web.

To combat this, educate your employees about the tactics used in phishing attacks and social engineering scams. Train them to recognize warning signs, such as suspicious emails or requests for sensitive information. Encourage a culture of skepticism and verification, where employees double-check the authenticity of requests before sharing confidential data.

By fostering a vigilant and informed workforce, you can fortify your defense against cybercriminals seeking to exploit fear and uncertainty. Visit us here to download our cybersecurity culture checklist.

 

3. Damaging Critical Infrastructure

Disasters can cause severe damage to your critical infrastructure, compromising components integral to your cybersecurity measures. Destruction of servers, routers or firewalls can weaken your defense mechanisms, allowing cybercriminals to exploit security gaps.

To address this challenge, ensure your critical infrastructure has backup and disaster recovery in place. Regularly back up your data, store it securely off-site or in the cloud, and test the restoration process to ensure it functions smoothly. Implement robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans, including provisions for cybersecurity.

By maintaining resilient infrastructure and regularly testing your backup and recovery processes, you can mitigate the impact of infrastructure damage on your cybersecurity.

 

4. Impersonation and Deception

In the wake of a disaster, cybercriminals often exploit the trust associated with relief organizations and government agencies. By impersonating these trusted sources, they deceive victims through phishing emails, messages or calls, tricking them into divulging sensitive information or engaging in fraudulent transactions. 

To protect yourself from such scams:

  • Encourage your employees to verify the authenticity of any communication received during a disaster.
  • Advise them to independently contact the organization or agency through known, trusted channels to confirm the legitimacy of any requests.
  • Establish robust security awareness training programs that educate employees about common impersonation tactics and teach them how to report them effectively.

 

By promoting a culture of caution and verification, you can defend against impersonation and deception tactics used by cybercriminals. Our phishing infographic is a great educational resource that can be shared with your workforce to prepare them for real life threats.

 

Act Now to Safeguard Your Business

Now that we know how cybercriminals can target your business during a disaster, prioritizing disaster preparedness and implementing the above-highlighted measures are important to navigate today’s ever-evolving technology landscape.

If you need expert guidance, Databranch is here to help fortify your disaster preparedness and cybersecurity efforts. Together, let’s ensure a resilient and secure future for your business. Contact us today at 716-373-4467 x6 or [email protected] to proactively safeguard what you’ve worked so hard to build.

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