Trends: Ransomware vs. BEC

Ransomware is in the news, but you will start hearing more about wire fraud, initiated through Business Email Compromise (BEC).

Business Email Compromise is a large, and growing, problem.

On a risk/reward basis, we believe that wire fraud is most likely to be the focus for cyber criminals in the near term. Driven mainly by business email compromise (BEC), wire fraud leads to immense profits with relatively low priority from authorities. There is a growing consensus on the danger that this poses, highlighted most recently by yesterday’s story in Wired.

The article highlights the institutional response to ransomware, which ranges from an increase in law enforcement activity and resources to heightened regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, the preferred payment method for ransoms. Socially engineered wire fraud is hard to stop due to the sheer number of perpetrators of the crime, the volume of transactions occurring daily, and the urgency with which most transactions are completed. By capitalizing on these factors, criminals bypass the technology solutions firms have in place and prey upon human instincts.

Protecting against wire fraud driven by BEC requires a unique set of tools and training that emphasizes process, procedures, and team alignment. A key component is protecting yourself at scale and eliminating that “one bad day,” a common explanation we hear from victims.

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