A successful ransomware attack on a business’ payment system could, according to Gillen, result in it facing “regulatory action due to compromised personally identifiable information [PII], loss of monetary assets and loss of service. In turn, this could lead to reputational damage and loss of customer trust.”
Payment of ransoms is something treasurers must be extremely vigilant about. “Some corporates have paid them in order to bring services back online more rapidly, but we do not endorse the payment of money to criminal gangs,” Gillen firmly states. Not only does it encourage cybercriminals, “some ransomware operators are internationally sanctioned. Therefore, payments to such groups may cause an organisation to face regulatory or even legal action,” he adds.
While ransomware is rightly front and centre of any discussion about cybercrime, the aforementioned banking trojans continue to evolve and carry out “sophisticated network intrusion, which can be devastating for corporations,” Gillen warns. He adds that the attacks can be silent, “without a ransom and with no red flags, such as the theft of IP.”
CEO/CFO fraud, also known as business email compromise (BEC), has been a threat for years, but Covid-19 disruption has provided those who deploy it with new opportunities. Helen Kelly observes that, “BEC has found holes in some corporates’ armour in recent months.” The social engineering that informs a BEC attack is also becoming more sophisticated. “Senior company executives are at risk – arguably more than ever – with cybercriminals using online collection through social media and social engineering campaigns,” she adds.
Invoice fraud also remains rife, with cybercriminals sending fake invoices or looking to change the bank details of an existing supplier to divert money. “Unexpected changes in personnel, bank account details or telephone numbers are red flags to watch for here,” advises Kelly.