SCAMS and other Thieving Activities

IRIS ITGeneral

SCAMS and other Thieving Activities

Since the invention of the telephone, people have been trying to use technology to fool others into handing over their money.

While most of us assume we are way too intelligent and aware to be fooled by a scam, SCAM WATCH reports that Australians have lost more than $211million to phone scams this year so far, and the figure is increasing year on year.

This means that there either are a lot of people gullible enough to easily hand over their money, or the scammers are becoming more sophisticated and believable.

I would suggest the latter is true.

Government Requirements

Fraud Scam Danger

Government departments hold a wealth of saleable information, from our financial details to health records. These systems have also become highly integrated. This is particularly good for picking up attempts at fraud (such as someone claiming to be earning $50k per year yet paying insurance on a yacht). This means that government employees may have access to information well beyond their business function. Further, they now need to control security on all their “downstream” services.

Many large organisations have been caught out having a tight security system on their own systems yet letting malicious agents in via a supplied service.

For this reason, anyone dealing with the government should comply with the “Essential 8” SA Government guidelines. This is a series of security requirements, at three levels.

IRIS IT have offered Auditing services to establish security and business risks. We have developed a further audit for Essential 8. This may result in a more favourable assessment for dealing with governments, while protecting your data a business from malicious operators.

Please Note: There is no requirement for organisations to have their Essential Eight implementation certified by an independent party. However, Essential Eight implementations may need to be assessed by an independent party if required by a government directive or policy, by a regulatory authority, or as part of contractual arrangements

Types of Scams

Spam Detected

A common methods of exploiting people is for text, emails, or telephone calls (Allegedly from well-known businesses or organisations) to be delivered requesting personal and financial information.

An operator may claim to be from Amazon or eBay and claim a large purchase has been made on the victim’s credit card. They then gain access to the victim’s computer via remote access and steal the personal banking details.

Another common scam is the “Flubot” – an official looking text appears showing that you have missed a call, with a hyperlink to retrieve it. Following the link releases malware that can be very difficult to remove. Often the advice is to do a factory reset (i.e. wipe your phone back to the point it was at purchase).

All the common phishing, investment and identity scams are still being used (and catching people out).

How we can help

While no one is ever completely safe from SCAM’s, IRIS IT can help protect you and your organisation from being caught.

Our SPAM filter prevents most malicious email from ever being presented. If a virus is released, our Anti-virus systems will isolate and quarantine it before it can do any harm.

If your data is compromised, we can bring back individual files from your “Mirror” using version control and  recover your data to a previous point in time using backups.

Your information is your most valuable asset – all organisations need to protect it.

At Home or in the office?

How to Work Securely in a Hybrid Environment.

Freelance people. Men and women working remotely home on laptops and computers, self employed distant office, self-isolation vector concepts

Historically computers were single machines running individual functions. Since the early days, the functionality and flexibility of computers has increased to the point that most of us carry a powerful, integrated, multifunction computer in our pockets (called a mobile phone).

Recent innovation has meant that all the functionality of our various computers has been moved from our devices, so that we can securely access our functions and information from anywhere. Most businesses can easily access their phone calls via a desktop phone, their mobile or their computer – and even take phone calls in your car on your hands-free device.

This now applies to many business functions. Most documents can be easily accessed from a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. Disasters like losing a laptop are inconveniences rather than disasters, all your information is no longer stored on a single device.

Advantages and Disadvantages

This technology has been rapidly deployed with the Covid epidemic. Many people have found they can work from home or in isolation very well – allowing them to keep their pet dogs or cats company during the day and avoiding the daily commute.

Many businesses have reconsidered the need for workers to be onsite, and the necessity for face to face meetings. Many workers now consider the option to work at home as a perk.

The technical disadvantage of this is that many people are now working on networks outside the company’s control, on their own devices. This allows malicious agents and unauthorised users many more opportunities to gain access.

What are my options?

IRIS IT staff have set up many of our customers to take advantage of this new world functionality, while keeping their information safe.

We now have tools that allow multifactor authentication (you need access to two or more devices to gain access – say a mobile and a Notebook), meaning that gaining access to a password will not give a malicious agent access to your systems.

We include systems that track your devices, so if a Laptop, Notebook, phone etc is lost, it can be remotely disabled and wiped.

We can ensure that disks can not be read even if removed from you Notebook or laptop, and we can track the physical location of devices.

We can create a clear separation of people’s personal information and work information so they can use their own computers, but only have access to the company information as needed.

People can be prevented from downloading or storing information outside company networks, so they cannot email themselves all the relevant documentation and then resign.

At IRIS IT we ensure that all your data is both mirrored and backed up. This means that you are safe from both losing your device (in this case you will not loose your data) and having your data corrupted (Crypto Lockers, accidental deletion etc).

Talk to us so that we can make your business data and functionality flexible, mobile, safe, and secure.

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