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‘Tis the Season for Scams

How to Protect Your Business from AI-Driven Holiday Fraud

You’d better watch out! As the holiday season approaches, the spirit of giving is in the air — but so is the risk of getting scammed.

Around this time every year, cybercriminals earn their place on the Naughty List by capitalizing on the goodwill of individuals and the busy nature of the holidays. Let’s take a few minutes to explore how these scams are evolving, from traditional phishing emails to the latest AI-driven threats, so you can safeguard yourself and your business throughout the holiday season. 

Revisiting a holiday classic: the phishing email scam

Phishing emails have long been a favorite tool for scammers, and the holiday season provides the perfect cover for their deceptive tactics.

Here’s one common ploy: you get an email that appears to be from your boss, urgently requesting gift cards for end-of-year bonuses or special holiday gifts. The familiarity of the sender, combined with the urgency of the request, can make it easy for anyone to fall prey to this kind of scheme.

Do you hear what I hear? AI voice impersonations are on the rise

Today’s most sophisticated scammers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic the voices of friends, family and trusted colleagues.

Imagine getting a voicemail that sounds exactly like your boss instructing you to initiate a wire transfer to cover and end of year purchase. That may sound like something out of science fiction, but make no mistake: it’s already happening.

4 best practices for protecting your business this holiday season

Looking for proven ways to keep your holiday jolly? Adopt these protective measures to help you, your employees, and your customers stay safe all season long:

  1. Verify suspicious requests. Whether it’s an email asking for gift cards or a voicemail requesting a wire transfer, always verify the legitimacy of requests — especially if they come out of the blue or seem unusually urgent. Use trusted communication channels to confirm the authenticity of the sender’s instructions. For example, you can always pick up the phone (or, if possible, walk into your boss’s office) and ask them if the request is legitimate.
  2. Double-check the details. Scammers may be clever, but they’re not always detail-oriented. Always check the sender’s email address and look for flagrant typos or unusual URLs. Keep in mind that most people express themselves in a relatively consistent manner, so make sure to compare the email with other communications you’ve received from the same person. Does the email really look and sound like something your boss would write?
  3. Educate and communicate. Spread awareness among your colleagues about the evolving nature of scams. Encourage open communication within your workplace to share information about potential threats. And remember that knowledge is a powerful tool in protecting yourself against scammers, so always stay informed about the latest tactics.   
  4. Take a layered approach to cybersecurity. Fight fire with fire by using AI-based threat detection to identify and block phishing emails and malicious voicemails. You might also consider implementing a Zero Trust model to scrutinize every user and device requesting access to sensitive resources — even people within your corporate network.  

Ready to stop the Grinch in his tracks? We’d love to discuss how a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy can help you ring in the New Year with confidence. Get started by booking your custom consultation today

Category: Cybersecurity
Last Updated: On December 08, 2023