Stay calm, stay safe:Navigate cyber threats.

Tech Blog
Cyber Security
February 18, 2024
Navigate cyber threats.

Cybercriminals use various strategies to capture your attention and urge you to click on a scam. One of the highest efficiencies is “stressor events”, contrived situations designed to instill fear or emotional responses; the ultimate goal is to prompt an impulsive response. This technique manipulates human emotion, exploiting psychological vulnerabilities. By presenting shocking or compromising scenarios, cybercriminals can create a heightened sense of urgency, pushing their victims to act hastily without careful consideration.

Stressor events

“Stressor events” often appear in phishing emails, smishing (SMS phishing), and vishing (voice phishing) attempts. They craft compelling narratives, using alarming subject lines like “Act Now: Fraudulent activity on your checking account” to emphasise the urgency.

Cybercriminals may use “stressor events” to gain access to business data through their employees. Your employees must be aware and proactive when receiving these scams; here’s what you can do to ensure cybercriminals can’t exploit your employees and gain access to your data.
-        Conduct a thorough assessment of potential vulnerabilities within the organisation, identifying areas where employees might be susceptible to urgent threats.
-        Implement comprehensive training programs to educate employees about the tactics used by cybercriminals, emphasising the importance of critical thinking.
-        Simulate phishing scenarios with urgent and shocking elements to ensure your employees are looking out for suspicious notifications.
-        Encourage employees to verify the legitimacy of unexpected communications through trusted channels or communicate to others about the emails they receive.
-        Develop a robust incident response plan and conduct drills to ensure employees are familiar with the procedures and respond effectively during an incident.

Spam can affect our personal lives; therefore, we must be vigilant across communication systems and channels. Adopting a cautious mindset when encountering unexpected or alarming messages is essential. Verifying the legitimacy of the communication, especially when urgency is a central theme, becomes paramount in mitigating the risks associated with falling prey to cyber scams.

Here are some proactive measures to take when dealing with spam in your personal lives.

-        Only open an attachment if you were expecting it. Even if the email seems to be from a familiar contact, verify its legitimacy by reaching out through other means, such as a phone call.
-        If the sender is challenging to reach or unwilling to engage in a phone conversation, it could be a red flag, signaling a potential scam.
-        Be extra wary if the sender requests money unconventionally, such as through gift cards or transfer applications.

By pausing to evaluate the likelihood of the presented scenario and adopting a skeptical mindset, you can effectively avoid cyber threats and fortify your cybersecurity defences in your business and personal communications.

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