A recent article by the Associated Press reports that Michigan auditors conducted fake email “phishing” attacks on 5,000 random state employees. The auditors found that nearly 1/3rd opened the email. Of that third, a quarter clicked on the link inside of the email and one fifth provided their username and password. This was a covert operation done to assess the security of the Michigan State government networks.
Many of us have fallen prey to this sort of hacking activity. It’s called “social engineering” — a bad actor tries to fool an unsuspecting user to give up their password information. Today it is more and more difficult to avoid becoming a victim of some sort of cyber crime. The problem is so big that law enforcement can’t keep up. If the crime doesn’t involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, they generally don’t have time to help you.
In a recent cybercrime study, Accenture reports that successful breaches per company each year has risen more than 27 percent. Obviously, the cost of cybercrime varies by organization size. Please take steps to protect your data and take steps to protect your systems using Two Factor Authentication (2FA), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and don’t leave ports open on your firewall that could allow someone to gain remote access to your systems.