Business Email Compromise (BEC)

One of the most sneaky and costly cyberattacks is CEO Fraud, also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC). Either through Spearphishing Attacks, malware, or by gaining access to your cloud-based business email accounts, scammers collect data to obtain essential information such as who you pay and how.

With this information in hand, they attempt to trick your company into wiring money to an account they set up, which cannot be traced. Exploitations like these have been around for more than five years, but BEC activity has doubled in the past year. 

This is how they do it:

  1. Scammers pick a target. They search through the directories of social media websites such as LinkedIn or they go to the company’s website and look for the names of people who work there. They are especially looking for executives who have authorization to transfer money. It is not hard for them to find most of the company’s corporate officers and personnel through these channels.
    1. Scammers groom the target(s) they pick. They send emails to the target or call them on the phone to invite him/her to begin a correspondence with them. This is called spoofing. If the target responds, the scammers can view his/her email address and signature.
    2. The scammers then may set up fake email addresses and URLs by adding an extra character to make them look similar to the target’s at a glance.
    3. Other times they may just copy the name and attach another email address to it. Since some email applications only show the name, the false address behind it can be hidden.
    4. Sometimes scammers create a full email server that looks like the target’s server with a change of one character. E.g., mary.smith@companyllc.com vs. mary.smith@companylllc.com. If the coworkers at the target company just glance at this email address (as we all usually do), they most likely will miss the extra l.
  2. Once the scammers engage the target in a fictitious company project or transaction, they give instructions to wire the money to their account. Other times they act as a vendor giving new wiring instructions with the scammers account information. They might also impersonate the CEO and give instruction to the CFO to wire money to an account. The target believes they are working with a partner company or a supervisor who is giving them these instructions.
  3. The target wires the money to the untraceable account and the company never sees it again.

BEC scams may seem unlikely, but it actually happened to the Puerto Rican government which lost $2.6M and to a Tech Manufacturing company which lost $47M.

Puerto Rico government loses $2.6M in phishing scam

Ubiquiti Networks Says It Was Victim of $47 Million Cyber Scam

Between January 2014 and October 2019, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received complaints totaling more than $2.1 Billion in actual losses from BEC Scams.

FBI Public Service Announcement on April 6, 2020

Every one of your employees should be on the alert for spoofed emails. One of the most effective practices to avoid BEC scams is to train your workforce to voice-verify before transferring funds. If there are any account changes, especially new place-to-route payments, they should be approved verbally by one or two people up the corporate chain and by one or two people at the receiving company.

Another way to fight BEC is to use Multifactor Authentication (MFA) to protect your email accounts. Weak passwords are chinks in your company’s cyber armor.

Learn how MFA works.

Read the full article on email scams on the FBI’s webpage: Business Email Compromise on the Rise

Microsoft 365 Collaboration Abilities

Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365 

Recently Office 365 became Microsoft 365. For Enterprise levels, the features remain the same although Microsoft is adding features often. For Business levels, the name has changed, and collaboration and security features have been added.  As Office is still an optional part of the subscription, the main focus has turned to Collaboration. 

Microsoft 365 Collaboration 

With many companies’ employees now working from home, collaboration tools have become extremely important. Organizations need to stay connected with their employees who in turn need to stay connected with their client base.  

  • Video calls have replaced onsite visits. 
  • Project hubs have replaced long conference room meetings. 
  • Chat has replaced stop-by-office discussions.  

Organizations are finding they can be very productive if they have the correct tools. One of the most used and recognized tools now is Teams from Microsoft, which is part of Microsoft 365, previously Office 365. Teams added 31 million users in the month of April 2020 alone bringing the total users worldwide to over 75 million and growing fast

 With COVID-19 changing the way businesses operate, there is so much uncertainty about the future of in-person business operations. Collaboration from remote locations has become crucial to workflow. Knowing you have the tools to maintain easy and effective communication can provide your business with a sense of unity and security. Microsoft 365 has some features you may not know about that can benefit your organization. 

How Microsoft 365 Connects Your Team 

Have you tried the multi-user chat on Microsoft 365 Teams? Did you know that it enables interoffice calling, scheduling, and meetings? It also facilitates co-authoring and presentations. These features enable you to work from anywhere. You can collaborate with anyone within your company. They are simple to use and Microsoft provides excellent video training. Start training now: Get Started with Microsoft Teams.   

Added Value with Co-Authoring 

You can co-author within the Microsoft 365 environment with apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Here are some quick steps to get started: 

  1. Create a document in OneDrive or SharePoint 
  2. In your open file, click the “Share” button in the top right corner 
  3. Select the names or enter email addresses to share your file 
  4. Select permissions for this document – location and collaboration level 
  5. Click “Send” 
  6. The person you shared with can now work on the same file 

Link to: Co-authoring an Excel Workbook 

Meetings with Clients Outside Your Organization 

If you need to set up a video meeting with customers, it is now simple with Teams.  

  1. Click a button on your Exchange Home Ribbon or go to your Teams Calendar and select the time. A window will pop up for you to enter the email addresses of attendees, title of meeting and a place to enter an explanation of the meeting or agenda.  
  1. Send the email to your attendees. 
  1. Once received, it is automatically added to their Outlook Calendar.  
  1. With an addon feature you can include a phone number for people who are not able to be on a computer.  
  1. At the time of the event, click the link and you are in the conference. If you have the app for Teams, you can enter there, otherwise it will show up on a Windows Browser.  

Team Meetings – Instant or Scheduled Meetings 

Team meetings can be instant or scheduled. To begin an instant meeting: 

  1. Select the camera icon in the top right corner 
  2. Invite an individual or the entire chat group 
  3. To schedule a meeting: 
  4. Go to the calendar on Teams 
  5. Click on the “New Meeting” button in the top right corner 
  6. Fill out the form to invite members of your organization 
  7. Choose the time, date, and subject 
  8. Select the “Save” button and Teams will automatically send an invite to attendees and put it in their calendar 

See the tutorial: Instant and Scheduled Meetings Tutorial 

Meetings – Live Events 

Meetings on the Teams platform are simple to set up. They may contain as many participants as you would like (up to 20,000 for Live Events) and are especially effective when using the video feature. For Live Events: 

  1. Go to the Teams Calendar and select live new meeting 
  2. Choose who can attend – specific people/Groups/entire organization/anyone who receives the link/public 
  3. You can choose to record it for Producers and Presenters or for attendees 
  4. You can also choose to have a Q&A session 
  5. Select “Schedule” and you will receive an attendee link to send to anyone via email or Teams 

See the tutorial: Live Event Tutorial 

Using Teams Meetings is an effective form of business communication as they allow you to see facial expressions and hear voice inflections, which bring more meaning to the conversation. Additionally, you can get much more accomplished in a shorter time with a video meeting than with dialoging in a chat when you keep them on schedule and to the point. 

Microsoft 365 Portal 

When you launch the Microsoft 365 portal, you see the Office applications you use most frequently. The search feature at the top of the page helps you quickly find your apps, files, and contacts on 365. Additionally, links to the following files are displayed: 

  • Recent    Links to your most recent files are listed here. If you click on this tab, you can see when you accessed this file last, whether the file is a shared file, and what has been recently changed.
  • Pinned    Pinning the files you work on most frequently, gives you quick access to them under this tab.
  • Shared with me    These are files that have been shared with you.
  • Discover    This tab shows relevant items from your OneDrive, a 1TB per user individual file repository

To start working on your documents, select one of these file links or navigate to a file in your OneDrive App. All the changes you and your team members make to a document are tracked and updated.  

See the tutorial: Get Started 

These tools will bring great value to your organization. 

Combine your Microsoft 365 account with a superior managed services provider. Integrinet IT is a full-service IT company providing outsourced IT for small- to mid-sized businesses in Idaho and Utah. Our 22 years of experience equips us with the skills to strategically keep all the layers of your computer, network, and hardware systems safe from cyberattacks and running at peak efficiency. Never far from your organization, our service engineers provide a personal, responsive approach when and where you need assistance. 

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