The national consumer watchdog has revealed that Australian small businesses reported losses of more than $2.3 million to scams so far in 2018.
The data collected by the ACCC, indicate that these cyber criminals are sending sophisticated phishing emails to small businesses.
These are where scammers pretend to be a supplier of a small business, or even someone within the business like the CEO or CFO, and intercept payments by emailing new payment details.
In 2017, phishing email costed Australian small businesses 2.17 million. It seems these criminals have upped their game. More than 160,000 scams were reported to the ACCC alone in 2017, it was the phishing scam category with the largest number of reports received with a total of 26,386.
There is also a warning distributed by the ACCC, with regards to remote access scams.
The ACCC’s Scamwatch website has recorded a significant spike in remote access scams with more than 8,000 reports recorded in 2018 so far and losses totalling $4.4 million.
According to the ACCC, scammers will impersonate companies such as Telstra, NBN Co or Microsoft, as well as the police trying to convince citizens to give scammers access to their computers through remote software.
As employees now work remotely and take work home, the business data is not just confined to the office.
Working securely with a business grade VPN (not RDP) and educating all staff and families not to give access to their computers is an important step to keeping data, privacy and business reputation secure.
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