Business Email compromise
We’ve all heard that malicious actors are actively exploiting e-mail scams to swindle government agencies, small and large organizations, and their victims are old news. Most corporate financial transactions have now moved to digital, and this resulted in a rise in financial crime caused mainly by cyber fraud.
The phrase “Company Email Compromise” refers to a wide range of malicious activities, but all kinds of BEC have one thing in common: they need to gain access to or impersonate a business email account.
What Is BEC?
Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a sort of targeted scam in which an attacker impersonates a corporate executive or high-level employee with the goal of robbing the company or its partners or obtaining critical data. The purpose of a BEC scam is to persuade the target to submit money or sensitive information to the attacker while they believe they are conducting a genuine business transaction.
Attackers do this by employing a variety of deception methods to persuade users to hand up money or personal information.
How does a BEC Scam Work
To be successful, BEC fraud, like other social engineering schemes, relies on the human aspect.
This suggests that the fundamental human desire to be a social creature will be used in this situation.
People are more prone to be victims of BEC assaults because their natural desire to help and prove their worth. The need to respond quickly to a request from your boss trumps the need to double-check if the request is correct in the first place.
There are three primary steps in most BEC attacks:
BEC scams, often known as “man-in-the-email” attacks, begin with extensive investigation, with the attacker scouring publicly accessible information about the organization, such as websites, press releases, and social media posts.
After spending time investigating his targets, the attacker will come up with a few scam scenarios that may work.
The attacker will attempt to either get access to the email accounts of the company’s most powerful people or just spoof them. You might become a victim by creating an email address with a faked domain and simply changing one digit or one letter in the domain name.
The BEC assault can happen in a single email or in an entire thread, depending on how thorough the opponent is. Persuasion, urgency, and authority are typically used in this communication to gain the victim’s trust. The attacker then instructs the victim to make a money transfer or provide sensitive information.
Types of BEC Attacks
The Scam of Fake Invoices
Companies that engage with international suppliers are frequently targeted with this type of scam. The attackers pose as suppliers, seeking money transfers to an account controlled by fraudsters.
After gathering the appropriate information, the attackers will impersonate the company’s CEO or another high-ranking official and send an email to finance personnel asking money transfers to a bank account they control.
Compromise of an Email Account (EAC)
The email account of a senior executive or employee is stolen and used to solicit invoice payments from suppliers mentioned in their email contacts. Once The funds are subsequently transferred to bogus bank accounts.
Prevent Business Email Compromise
- Educate your personnel
The access to adequate cyber-security training to staff is an incredibly critical step that a business must take to protect itself against BEC.
Employees should be informed of the dangers and ramifications of these assaults, as well as how to recognize scams and respond appropriately in the event of one.
BEC assaults are successful not because they are technologically advanced, but because they exploit human weaknesses such as a response to authority, scheduling or even exhaustion.
Clear communication of duties and objectives, as well as adequate advice in the usage of IT and accounting controls, can help to reduce these risks.
Cyber-security threats come in all kinds and sizes, so it’s crucial to detect, report, and respond appropriately to them.
Human mistake is to blame for 95% of successful cyber-attacks, even though it may appear evident. Managers should remember that hackers don’t just enter into IT departments by brute force – they hunt for flaws.
As a result, every position in the company is responsible for cyber-security skills and expertise.
Making cyber security a shared duty is critical, therefore involve management and IT in your education program, have monthly cyber security sessions, and, of course, establish particular rules for email, internet surfing, social media, and mobile devices.
While there is no infallible approach for safeguarding your company, educating your staff on security dangers and best practices for online behaviour and privacy will dramatically lower the risk of a BEC scam.
- Encourage employees to challenge suspicious requests
Employees have a tendency to hurry an activity or a reaction, so teaching them to double-check before completing a task might lessen the danger of a cyber-attack.
Consider an email from a company’s senior executive, in which a substantial sum of money is demanded urgently.
Employees should realize that delaying payment is preferable than being scammed, and they should take the necessary efforts to ensure that the request they received is legitimate.
Employees have a tendency to expedite an activity or a reaction, so teaching them to double-check before completing a task might lessen the danger of a cyber-attack.
Unfortunately, because of their surface-level nature, BEC assaults are here to stay. To stay ahead of the rising Business Email Compromise danger, organizations and workers must change their mindsets, practices, and security solutions.