July 25, 2022
Erin Fay

$43 Billion Dollar Cyber-Crime.. Are You Next?

Everyone knows of ransomware and how it can take down vital services, but no one is talking about the $43 billion dollar cyber-crime that happens to people every day.

Business email compromise, or BEC for short, has become the largest cybersecurity issue of today. According to Ronnie Tokazowski, principal threat advisor at cybersecurity company Cofense, “BEC is an international, global problem with victims in over 90% of countries in the world.”.

The way these scams work are the scammer reaches out, usually through email, posing as a colleague, a client, or your boss asking for money. They can do this by creating a fake email with the person’s name or they will hack into the person’s account using their username and password. In all cases, the scammer will always ask for the transfer of the funds to be made urgently and to keep it a secret. This sounds like a red flag, and you would be able to catch on easily if this was said but just think; if your boss sent an email, replying in an already established conversation and asked for the funds to be transferred but asked you to be discrete because if this information became public, it could ruin a potential business endeavor, you probably wouldn't think twice about it.

Once you send it and someone realizes that it was a scam, the scammers have the money and they have already spent it or laundered it elsewhere which makes it very hard to trace. Not to mention, once you figure out that you were scammed, you go to your finance department and not the cybersecurity department. This causes the situation to not be reported which lets the scammers off the hook.

It is not a completely hopeless fight though. The best way to prevent scams like this from happening is to set up multi-factor authentication and put policies in place that will make employees go through a process before they are able to send money. The biggest thing is to help bring awareness of BEC attacks and shift away from victim blaming. People need to not feel ashamed if this happens to them but rather feel comfortable enough to report it.

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