Ah, the internet. We love it, sometimes we hate it (like after hour 7 on video calls… just us?), and we rely on it for so much of our daily lives. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to dominate everyday life, the last 12 months have made businesses and individuals alike that much more reliant on the web to sell services, engage with customers, shop for essentials and even stay connected with family and friends. As we all have come to know, with so much opportunity for engagement, connection and even profitability, with that comes an array of digital risks. We could think of no better time than this Safer Internet Day to share a few resources and tips for businesses leveraging the net, on and off the clock to stay safe online.
Safer Internet Day for businesses
While one day dedicated to a safer internet is certainly not enough to keep whole enterprises secure, it offers the time to evaluate the security policies and protections you have in place to identify and remove digital threats across the web. We’ve seen a massive expansion of the public attack surface over the last 12 months, that is the external platforms that exist outside your security team’s control, such as the surface, deep and dark web, social media, marketplaces and more. With a shift to remote work and digital-first sales and service delivery, it’s more important than ever that businesses protect themselves and their consumers online.
Staff working from home? Understand the risks of remote work
To adapt to stay-at-home orders and work-from-home directives, businesses have had to rapidly shift their operating models to a remote-first work environment over the last 12 months. With more employees working from home than ever before, security teams have had to adopt new technologies and protocols to enable workers and continue to provide services to customers. Between January and April 2020, ZeroFOX found that overall digital threat activity targeting ZeroFOX’s customer ecosystem increased 9%. ZeroFOX observed a 55% increase in successful takedowns during that same time period, suggesting a significant increase in legitimate threats facing organizations of all industries.
Understand the risks of remote work, from phishing and fraud to data leakage in our Four Strategies for Secure Remote Work whitepaper.
Selling products online? You’re not the only one looking to make a quick buck…
With less people shopping in person due to the pandemic, online sales are on the rise. This has created new opportunities for bad actors, leading to an increase in fraudulent shopping sites. These sites are used to either steal information, such as credit card numbers and PII, or sell stolen or counterfeit goods. Quickly identifying and taking down fake sites that are leveraging your brand likeness, including logo, name and products themselves, is critical.
As phishing continues to rise, understand the tactics bad actors use to conduct phishing and fraud attacks in our InfoSec Guide: Phishing and Fraud Report.
Staying connected with customers? Stop fake accounts from getting there first
With travel restrictions in place, not only are we communicating internally through the use of digital channels, but customer communications have shifted virtually as well. If you offer customer support services through a chatbot or social media, it’s important to understand the potential risks of those services to protect customers. Bad actors on social media in particular create fake accounts impersonating your customer support representatives in order to phish customers and steal their information. Finding fake accounts on social media and elsewhere online is critical for securing customer engagements.
Learn about impersonation tactics and techniques attackers use to target your customers in our InfoSec Guide: Impersonations and Brand Abuse whitepaper.
A Safer Internet Day for businesses and consumers
Ultimately, the first step towards a safer internet is a recognition of the risks that the internet poses to businesses and consumers alike. ZeroFOX expects a continued amplification of the tried and true methods attackers rely on such as ransomware, spearphishing and social engineering. In addition, new tactics are on the horizon to prepare for. As security teams plan for 2021, understanding those risks is critical. ZeroFOX recently hosted a webinar outlining what we learned from 2020, and what to expect in 2021 that can help plan for the year ahead.
If you’re looking to jumpstart protecting your business against digital risks on the internet, what better day to start than Safer Internet Day!