How to Prevent a Business Email Compromise Attack

January 18, 2021

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Did you know? Business email compromise is one of the most common threats today. It employs tactics like impersonating an executive, HR, or a trusted vendor to initiate fraudulent transfers of money. According to the FBI, $1.7 billion was lost to BEC in 2019 alone. Here are tips from the FBI to stay secure:

  • Be Skeptical! Last-minute changes in wiring instructions or recipient account information must be
    verified.
  • Don’t Click It! Verify any changes and information via the contact on file—do not contact the vendor
    through the number provided in the email.
  • Doublecheck That URL! Ensure the URL in the email is associated with the business it claims to be
    from.
  • Spelling Counts! Be alert to misspelled hyperlinks in the actual domain name.
  • It’s a Match! Verify the email address used to send emails, especially when using a mobile or
    handheld device, by ensuring the sender’s email address appears to match who it’s coming from.
  • Pay Attention! Often there are clues with Business Email Compromise:
    • An employee who does not normally interact with the CEO receives an urgent request
      from them.
    • You see data that shows an employee is in one location at 1:00pm but halfway around
      the globe 10 minutes later.
    • You see activity from an employee who is supposed to be on leave.
    • And, As Always, if You See Something, Say Something! If something looks awry, report it to your MSP
      or a supervisor. And if you have been a victim of BEC, file a detailed complaint with www.ic3.gov

Make sure you’re providing ongoing education to your employees to keep them secure. Print this checklist and post it next to all common areas and workspaces.

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