If Hackers Can Compromise High-Profile Twitter Accounts, Is Your Business At-Risk?
When some of the world’s most high-profile Twitter accounts recently got hacked, it heightened concerns across industries worldwide. If the likes of former Pres. Barack Obama and Tesla CEO Elon Musk can get hacked, what does that say about ordinary citizens and organizations? Rhetorically speaking, it says that you may be at increased risk of being exploited by digital scam artists because few lack the advanced cybersecurity measures of presidents and household name business leaders.
ChaceTech specializes in working with organizations large and small, helping them mitigate their cybersecurity risks. Here are a few findings from the recent Twiter hack.
Who Was Compromised in the Twitter Hack?
The cyber-attack launched on Twitter ranks among the boldest in the history of digital crime. Online thieves made a statement that they represent a clear and present danger to anyone who leverages social media. The splashy headlines associated with the phishing scheme included a veritable who’s who of celebrities and the wealthiest people on the planet. That list includes the following.
- Democratic Party candidate for president Joe Biden
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person
- Apple’s Bill Gates
- Financial guru Warren Buffett
- Grammy-winning Hip Hop artist Kanye West
- Kim Kardashian
- Undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather
- Uber ride service
The social media phishing scam encouraged users to send bitcoin in return for one of these high-profile people doubling your money to help during the pandemic. All told, a reported 130 accounts were compromised. Twitter issued a statement saying the organization was “taking aggressive steps to secure our systems.” The FBI has reportedly opened an investigation, and Congress wants answers about seemingly lax security measures.
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other decision-makers may want to be mindful of the fact that these online criminals didn’t hesitate to target elites. If they are brash enough to hit Jeff Bezos and Pres. Obama, what about your business?
Is Your Business At Risk?
It would be pleasant to think that hackers only target big corporations and wealthy individuals so they can make big scores. The truth is that cybercriminals typically use phishing schemes to target everyday people and any employee they can trip-up. These 2019 phishing attack statistics published by Proof Point highlight that every outfit remains at risk.
- Upwards of nearly 90 percent of organizations were the subject of a targeted phishing attack
- Approximately 86 percent experienced a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack
The threat assessments uncovered by the Proof Point study points to a growing focus on specific targets. It appears that more sophisticated hackers are putting organizations in their crosshairs rather than cast a wide net with bulk emails. The Twitter attack underscores that type of criminal practice. This is not necessarily good news for the average organization. That’s largely because clever hackers move from one outfit to the next testing cybersecurity defenses in search of the low-hanging fruit. Yours could be next on their list.
Strategies to Prevent Phishing Attacks
Business leaders may get a sinking feeling reading about big-league hacks such as the recent Twitter scheme or the $100 million reportedly stolen from Facebook and Google from 2013 to 2015. It may seem like its only a matter of time before your network is breached, and valuable digital assets are compromised.
But the conventional wisdom points to most hackers acting more like petty thieves than Brinks robbers. In fact, many are inclined to pass you by if it takes too much time and effort to defeat your defenses. By implementing determined cybersecurity measures, lazy criminals typically lack the resolve and skills to harm your outfit. These include the following.
- Multi-Factor Authentication for Login Profiles
- Virtual Private Networks
- Business-Grade Antivirus Software & Firewalls
- Encrypted Data Transmissions
But experts widely agree that the key to preventing a phishing attack is cybersecurity awareness training. When an organization’s team members can recognize the telltale signs of a phishing scheme and enjoy ongoing threat alerts, you can sleep easier knowing you have hardened your defenses.