As the general public are being warned to be on their guard against Ransomware which disguises itself as a legitimate email alert about suspicious payments or invoices, Colin Tankard, Managing Director of Digital Pathways, highlights the need for everyone to be more vigilant when it comes to email accounts. ” This kind of attack is not new,” says Colin.” There have been numerous such viruses that feed on the spammer’s ability to access an individual’s (or in this case tens of millions of individuals’) contact lists. Everybody that uses the Internet and has an email account is generating a digital footprint. If a spammer gains access to an individual’s email account by that person responding to the fake mail, they will gain access to that entire person’s contact list. The spammer is then able to mail to that list disguised as the person whose account it is and thereby increase the likelihood of the recipient responding to it. Colin advises,” It is my opinion that many of these attacks come via friends and colleagues machines in the first place. We all need to become much more vigilant in our on-line dealings. For example, be highly selective about what you download. If the mail looks, or ‘feels’ not quite right don’t click on it. ” If there is a hyper-link within the mail hover the curser over it to see the full link description. Again, this may reveal that all is not what it seems. If in doubt don’t click on it. If you are in any doubt about a mailing call, or email separately from your contact list, the so-called sender and check that it has indeed come from them. ” Only by becoming more security savvy with regard to our on-line activity can we stamp out this kind of threat,” he concludes.
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.