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Cybercrime gears up for 2023

Cybercrime gears up for 2023

Only a few weeks into the new year, and we’re already seeing a spate of cyber-attacks: an incident at Royal Mail has led to severe ongoing disruption for the organisation and its customers; meanwhile, confidential data from 14 schools has been leaked to the dark web. Sadly, these types of incidents have become so commonplace that it almost doesn’t register as ‘news’ anymore. At ITGL, we’d like to brush away this resignation and make a call for a new year’s resolution to fight back.

The exposure of personal data is a serious issue, not just for the individuals whose information has been compromised, but also for the organisations entrusted with keeping it secure. The repercussions can be devastating, both in terms of the personal distress suffered by those affected and the damage to an organisation’s reputation – not to mention the financial toll of ransoms, fines, and lost revenue.

Organisations might bear responsibility for their cybersecurity systems, but it’s also important to remember that the weakest link in the chain is almost always the human. Cybercriminals are well aware of this, and know that the easiest way to gain access to sensitive information is to target individuals by exploiting their trust and naivety.

Phishing is the most common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick people into providing personal information or clicking on a malicious link. These scams can take many forms, including text messages and phone calls, but frequently appear as emails that seem to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or government agency, an organisation we do business with, or even from within our own organisation.

Any organisation that wants to survive in today’s digital world should have the right security in place, but – despite these protections – some malicious emails will still be delivered. To protect ourselves from these types of attacks, it’s vital that we question everything that arrives in our inbox. So, if you receive something from a new sender, ask yourself: Is this from a trusted source? Is the sender who they claim to be? What is their motivation for the communication, and why are they asking us to act? If something seems off, it probably is.

Of course, it’s not just the end-users that should to be cautious. Organisations need to be proactive in identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities in their systems. This includes regularly updating software and security protocols, as well as providing ongoing training for their employees on safe online practices. 

In an age where technology plays such a central role in our lives, cyber-security is a shared responsibility. We must all play our part in preventing cybercrime by being vigilant, questioning everything, and taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and our organisations. Why not talk to us about any security concerns you have, and how we can help your organisation to stay safe? You can reach our security team at security@itgl.com.