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How Cybercriminals Target Corporate email

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Phishing attacks are among the most widespread and effective tactics used by cybercriminals against business.

These schemes aim to deceive employees into disclosing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data, by posing as legitimate sources.

While phishing attacks come in various forms, they often target corporate email systems due to the wealth of valuable information they hold. To assist businesses in bolstering their defenses against potential breaches, Kaspersky is unveiling the anatomy of a phishing attack.

According to Mimecast’s ‘The State of Email Security 2023’ report, 83% of CISOs surveyed see email as the primary source of cyberattacks. The recent case of Pepco Group demonstrated the severe consequences that phishing attacks can inflict on a business.

At the end of February, the retail company reported that its Hungarian subsidiary had fallen victim to a sophisticated phishing attack. As a result of this strike, Pepco Group lost approximately €15.5 million in cash. This incident highlights the expanding threat posed by cybercriminals, emphasising the critical need for organisations to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses.

In 2023 Kaspersky’s anti-phishing system thwarted over 709 million attempts to access phishing and scam websites, marking a 40% increase compared to the previous year’s figures.

In response to this pressing issue, Kaspersky experts cover the way phishing attacks are conducted.

  1. Cybercriminals’ motivation

Phishing attacks stem from cybercriminals motivated by various factors. Primarily, they seek financial gain by unlawfully acquiring sensitive information like credit card details or login credentials, which can be sold or used for fraudulent transactions. Additionally, some are motivated by political or ideological agendas, or by the purpose of espionage. Despite the differing motivations, these attacks pose severe risks to businesses.

  1. The initial approach

Phishing attacks typically begin with cybercriminals crafting fraudulent emails designed to lure recipients into taking action. These emails often mimic legitimate communications from trusted sources, such as colleagues, business partners or reputable organisations. To enhance credibility, attackers may employ tactics like spoofing sender addresses or replicating corporate branding.

The situation is further exacerbated by the emergence of AI-powered phishing attacks, leveraging sophisticated algorithms to create highly convincing and personalised phishing emails. This exacerbates the challenge of detecting and combating such threats.

  1. Deceptive content and techniques

Central to the success of phishing attacks is the exploitation of human vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals leverage psychological manipulation techniques, compelling victims to act impulsively without thoroughly evaluating the email’s legitimacy.

Phishing emails employ various strategies to deceive recipients and elicit desired responses. Common techniques include:

False pretenses: Emails may claim urgency or importance, urging recipients to act quickly to avoid purported consequences or to seize perceived opportunities.

Social engineering: Attackers personalise emails and tailor messages that resonate with recipients’ interests, roles, or concerns, increasing the likelihood of drawing in the victim.

Malicious links and attachments: Phishing emails often contain links to fraudulent websites or malicious attachments designed to harvest credentials, install malware, or initiate unauthorised transactions.

  1. Evading detection

To evade detection by email security filters and anti-phishing solutions, cybercriminals consistently refine their tactics and adapt to evolving cybersecurity measures. They may employ obfuscation techniques, encryption methods, or URL redirection to bypass detection and enhance the effectiveness of their attacks.

  1. Consequences of successful phishing attacks

When phishing attacks succeed, the consequences can be severe for organisations. Breaches of corporate email systems can lead to unauthorised access to sensitive data, financial losses, reputational damage, and regulatory non-compliance. Moreover, compromised email accounts can serve as footholds for further cyberattacks, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) or data exfiltration.

Mitigation strategy

Safeguarding against phishing attacks targeting corporate email systems, means organisations must implement robust cybersecurity measures while educating employees about phishing awareness and best practices.

Effective mitigation strategies include employee training, the introduction of multi-factor authentication, the formulation of incident response plans, and the deployment of advanced email filtering and security solutions.

“In today’s dynamic threat landscape, businesses face an ever-growing array of cyber risks, with email-based attacks posing a particularly insidious threat. At Kaspersky, we recognise the critical importance of equipping organisations with robust cybersecurity solutions to help businesses defend themselves against these evolving threats.

“Our Kaspersky Security for Mail Server combines advanced content filtering capabilities with cutting-edge machine learning technology to provide unparalleled protection for corporate mail systems even against evolving AI-powered phishing attacks.

“By leveraging our solutions, businesses can proactively defend themselves against phishing attacks and other malicious threats, ensuring the security and integrity of their sensitive data,” comments Timofey Titkov, Head of Cloud & Network Security Product Line at Kaspersky.


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E-Business

Outdated Tech Holding Back Innovation in Organizations

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A new report by a leading global IT infrastructure and services company, NTT DATA has revealed that 80 per cent of organizations have agreed that inadequate or outdated technology is holding back organizational progress and innovation efforts.

In fact, 94 per cent of C-suite executives believe legacy infrastructure is greatly hindering their business agility.

These findings come from NTT DATA’s inaugural Lifecycle Management Report. The report, which leverages 25 years of data-led insights from NTT DATA, explores the challenges and opportunities that exist for organizations as they navigate infrastructure lifecycle management.

The research was conducted over 2022 and 2023, gathering data from over 248 million active assets across 130 countries and supported with responses from up to 1400 senior technology decision makers.

Lifecycle management is a critical enabler of business success. Unfortunately, rapid modernization, and the proliferation of technology consumption models, coupled with an increasingly complicated and fragmented supplier ecosystem, make it difficult for many organisations to adequately maintain their technology infrastructure in a way that fosters business agility and innovation.

Compounding issues, the report finds that more than two thirds (69%) of currently active hardware (with scheduled last day of support) will no longer be supported by 2027.

According to the report, just 51 per cent of enterprises have fully aligned their technology approach to their business strategy needs, while 71 per cent of organizations say their network assets are mostly ageing or obsolete.

Unfortunately, lifecycle management can also have an even more direct impact on operations. Misaligned lifecycle patterns can result in inappropriate coverage levels, laborintensive renewals, extended incident resolution times, security breaches, and even costly license violations and compliance issues.

Gary Middleton, Vice President of Networking GTM at NTT DATA, said: “Infrastructure lifecycles are a critical part of the IT management process. They represent an opportunity and a challenge for leadership, as effective lifecycles can result in huge business benefits – from increased efficiency to fostering greater innovation. “However, inefficient lifecycle management can equally be a meaningful operational blocker, posing numerous risks to security and business continuity.

“Through the Lifecycle Management Report, our aim is to help organizations enhance their infrastructure lifecycle processes and unlock the huge benefits doing so presents.”

It would be recalled that an earlier report by PwC had indicated that in Africa, the tech-ecosystem had experienced impressive growth and is evolving rapidly.

It noted that there was a high level of optimism about the potential that the continent has to offer by harnessing the strength of its largely young, rapidly growing and technology savvy population.

“Nigeria is one of the continent’s more established startup ecosystems, with firms like Interswitch dating as far back as 2002. “Albeit the growing tech-sector in the Nigerian economy and significant private funding secured by African tech start-ups over the years, the tech sector is grossly underrepresented in the Nigerian capital market “ the report said.

It also highlighter that the future of countries, businesses, and individuals would be more dependent than ever on their adoption of technology, adding that economic vibrancy and wealth creation in developed countries had been associated with technological advancements and digital innovation & transformation.

“Today, most of the companies with the world’s largest market capitalizations are tech companies that generate much of their revenue from the digital ecosystems they created. This is a significant change from the early 2000s to this current time,” the report added.

 


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DisCos’ revenue rose by 17% to N291bn in Q1 2024 – NBS

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National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria made a total of N291.62 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

NBS, in its latest report on electricity for Q1 2024, released on Sunday, June 23 also said there was a decline in electricity supply in the period reviewed.

The revenue by DisCos rose by 17.91 percent compared to the N247.33 billion recorded in Q1 of 2023, the bureau said.

According to the bureau, power supply dropped from 6,432.22 gigawats per hour (Gwh) in Q4 2023 to 5,769.52 (Gwh) in Q1 2024 but on a year-on-year basis, electricity supply decreased by 1.41 percent compared to 5,851.87 (Gwh) reported in Q1 2023, NBS said.

“Revenue collected by the DisCos during the period was N291.62 billion from N294.95 billion in Q4 2023, “the report reads.“On a year-on-year basis, revenue generated in the reference period rose by 17.91% from N247.33 billion recorded in Q1 2023.”

The NBS also said the total number of customers stood at 12.33 million in Q1 — up from 12.12 million in Q4 2023 — representing an increase of 1.78 percent.

“On a year-on-year basis, customer numbers in Q1 2024 rose by 9.47% from 11.27 million reported in Q1 2023,” the bureau said.

“Similarly, metered customers stood at 5.91 million in Q1 2024, indicating a growth of 5.38% from 5.61 million recorded in the preceding quarter.

“On a year-on-year basis, this grew by 11.26% from the figure reported in Q1 2023 which was 5.31 million.”


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E-Business

NITDA Commits to Deliver NDLF Initiatives Through Innovative Ideas

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In line with the digital literacy campaign of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Director General NITDA Kashifu Inuwa CCIE has said the Agency’s committed to achieving 70% digital literacy level by 2025 through innovative approaches in delivering initiatives, continuous collaborations and stakeholder engagement.

Inuwa made this known while receiving representatives from the Afre.lib Academy led by the Executive Director of Operation Mrs Joice Gomina who were on a visit to the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.

The purpose of the visit was to seek NITDA’s partnership as co-host of Afre.lib Academy’s bootcamps in August; 2024 Tech and Career Expo with the theme “Tech for Earth” in September; to have the DG as a Keynote Speaker and sponsorship support for their Tech Challenge Winners.

He said from the digital literacy perspective “We have three key areas, firstly, is the Formal Education where we are working with the minister of education to review curriculum and infuse all these skills in formal education, but we have a lot to do to achieve that in terms of training the teachers, getting the equipment available for them to use and so on.”

“Sencodly, for those outside the formal education (informal), we have an initiative which we call the Digital Literacy for All where we are working on building an Edtech platform (a learning Management System) where people can learn at their own pace. We are looking at translating it to Nigerian Languages, so that people who cannot read and understand English can do so in their own local languages.”

“We are exploring partnering with the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) as they are in 774 local government areas, to be onboarding people and making the content as simple as possible. So that anybody who listens or watches these contents can pick something from it. We believe going through the NYSC will help use reach the critical mass we are looking at.”

“Finally, we also have the formal workforce, which is to train people working for the government and private sector because the workforce needs to be digitally literate to increase productivity at work.

Inuwa assured the Academy of the Agency’s full support as both organisation share the same vison of fostering IT development and digital literacy.

“We need to review your curriculum to make sure it aligns with the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF).”

He added that NITDA is working to have at least one Innovation Hub per state so that when people learn they can have a place to develop there proof of concept.

He stated that both organisations can work together in the aspect of having tech clubs across schools in the country.

The ED Afre.lib Mrs Gomina said that the Academy’s which is a made up of a team of experts’ passionate educators has seen the gap between young children who are digital natives and their teachers who are still using old methods to prepare them for a future that is constantly evolving.

She said the Academy is working on building a platform where these children will be mentored and given a safe space to explore technology within the ethics of morality.

“We want to reduce that entitlement mentality and increase that mentality of citizenship, responsibility, and showing them that they can contribute to nation building using technology,” she said

She mentioned that some of the activities of the Academy includes, bootcamps for children, summer tech challenges teacher training as she appreciated the Agency for its willingness to support and partner with the Academy.

The Academy did a demo of some of the prototype developed by children who have undergone trainings with them.

 


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