“The sky is falling” is a phrase central to the Western variations of a moral folktale that dates back more than two millennia. The moral varies between emphasizing courage or not taking every story at face value. Generally known as Chicken Little in the United States, the lead character mistakenly thinks the sky is falling and spreads panic throughout the local community. Ultimately, a sly fox named Foxy Loxy invites Chicken Little and his panicked companions into his den and where they become his main course for dinner.
The prominent data breaches in 2014 positioned cybersecurity as the top concern of many IT professionals, and this concern has only been elevated since then. Earlier this year the FBI reported that the business e-mail compromise (BEC) scam cost businesses more than $2 billion in losses. Announcements by the IRS and an FTC (News - Alert) blog also contributed to IT cybersecurity concerns. The FTC blog said that these “CEO schemers first study their intended victims closely.” Then they use spoof e-mails supposedly from the CEO or an established vendor to trick employees with the authority to make money transfers. The blog also included several proven cautionary recommendations and is worth reviewing if only as a checklist to ensure that they are part of your current payment procedures.
The first step in making your organization more secure is to empower your staff to be both courageous and cautious and not be forced to choose like Chicken Little’s companions. They need the confidence and encouragement to escalate anything unusual to a financial officer or senior manager. Emphasize that if a request appears unrealistically urgent then flag it immediately. Legitimate last-minute requests for money transfers are atypical, and once the transfer is completed it is unrecoverable. The old adage better safe than sorry is more significant today than ever before.
With the ever-increasing frequency of hacks and incursions, ensuring security has never been more critical or complex. Common invasive malware techniques leverage email attachments or links to infected websites, but employee education can be minimize these threats. Keeping current is critical. Signing up for TMC (News - Alert) magazines and newsletters at www.tmcnet.com is strongly recommended for all employees. Regular visits to TMCnet's Online Communities, particularly the Cloud Security Community, should also be part of your organization’s continuing education program.
It’s better to be well-informed than served as Foxy Loxy’s main dinner course.
Max Schroeder (News - Alert) is vice president emeritus of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com ). Rich Tehrani is the CEO and group editor-in-chief at TMC (www.tmcnet.com), and conference chairman of ITEXPO (News - Alert) (www.itexpo.tmcnet.com).
Max Schroeder is Vice President Emeritus of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi