It has come to our attention that many of our customers have seen an increased number of phishing campaigns over the last few weeks and it has become clear that there is some concern regarding the best way to deal with these emails. As an IT organisation ourselves, we know for a fact that security issues come in many different forms and it just so happens to be the case that phishing has the potential to be a very devastating variation of a cyber-attack. In the opening months of 2018, extremely convincing phishing campaigns have been catching vulnerable business off guard so we thought it would be prudent to provide some insight and practical advice when it comes to spotting and overcoming these manipulative messages.
1: Train your staff to know what to look for
Training your staff to be aware and vigilant of all attachments and links from unsolicited emails can be a great way to start preventing the possibilities of a potential phishing attack. All emails with attachments should be treated with caution, even those from friends, family and colleagues. Make sure you can spot common aspects of phishing emails, for example very unspecific information such as “take a look at this”. Phrases like this should raise concern, but whether they are hostile or not can be easily verified by replying to the email asking if the assumed contact actually sent the email. When you respond to these emails, the real person will receive the question and the virus or phishing attempt won’t receive your response. If the person says they didn’t send the email – good job – you just mitigated a potential dangerous attack.
2: Deceptive URLs and domain names
It is imperative that all links in emails or documents, recognised or not, are checked and verified. This is very easy to do. By hovering over links, you are able to identify the actual site the link will take you to, and if it looks suspicious simply do not click it. In addition to this, if a link takes you to a site asking for a username and password be wary. Check the address is correct and know that people might use very similar (misspelled) variations to fool their victims. Another common URL trick is to hide the address bar so you can not verify if you are on the wrong page.
3: The message contains poor spelling and grammar
Large organisations usually review every email, letter and notification for spelling, grammar and legality issues amongst a wide variety of other things. If an email contains poor grammar or any spelling mistakes, it’s likely that it’s illegitimate.
4: The email makes offers that sound too good to be true
If you get an email offering technology for extremely low prices (for example at a 90% discount) then you know it’s a scam. These emails usually tell the recipient that there is a “deal for a limited time” and often catch people out on their impulses for gratification. It’s highly likely they just want to steal your card details.
5: Asking for money to cover costs
Over the last few weeks, a wide number of phishing emails asking for payments to cover costs have been plaguing businesses all over the UK. The senders of these emails usually mimic an email address of a colleague (such as your boss) and will send you an email asking you to make the payment. These emails usually look extremely convincing and will base their attachment design off common invoices from banks, service providers and websites. The senders of these emails gamble on you not questioning the request of your superiors, as they pretend to be a trusted colleague, and therefore are one of the most manipulative.
6: The message is random and uninitiated
Phishing attacks often leech off of the popularity of services such as the lottery or other competitions to steal personal information. An example of an uninitiated attack would be receiving a message in an email claiming that you have won a competition even though you never entered one. These attacks can be successful because many people do enter competitions and draws such as the lottery, so there is a high chance the recipient can be fooled.
If you have any concerns or questions don’t hesitate to call us on 01189 186822 or contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are delighted that Nouveau Solutions has been awarded the Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency at the Gold level for Office 365.
This accreditation allows Nouveau to join an elite group of partners who are awarded a Microsoft Gold competency. Gold partners must demonstrate proven expertise in delivering quality solutions in a specialised area and meet certain criteria including performance metrics, pass technical competency exams and provide a number of customer references.
“We are delighted that we have earned our Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency. Many of our customers are looking to move to a hosted platform and we have helped to transition thousands of users to Office 365.
The addition of this accreditation further strengthens our partnership with Microsoft and demonstrates our capability to deliver solutions and services that our customers can rely upon. The flexibility and support we can offer via our Cloud Solutions Provider platform provides prospective customers with complete peace of mind that Nouveau are the right partner.” Berni Maguire, Head of Marketing
To support our plans to expand our Cloud solutions and services we are looking to extend our team with more Azure and Office 365 specialists – send your Curriculum Vitae to email@example.com if you would like to be considered.
To learn more about our Cloud solutions and services go to: https://www.nouveau.co.uk/solutions/cloud-managed-services/
Ian Johnson, Business Development Manager
1: What attracted you to Nouveau Solutions Ltd?
What initially interested me in Nouveau was the fact that it was an established business, management owned and funded that was just celebrating its 25 years. My last employer whom I’d worked for 12 years had been through a number of acquisitions which is quite an unsettling experience, so the fact that Nouveau had the same management team in place who founded the company provided me with the comfort and stability that I was looking for.
Having worked with Berni (Head of Marketing) in my last company, she kindly provided the introduction to the rest of the Management Team to explore the company and the opportunities potentially available to me.
What became very apparent during my initial informal discussions with Leigh (Sales Manager) and Andy (Managing Director) was that there was a clear mutual understanding of the business and the direction/growth they desired and they were looking for individuals who were forward thinking and creative who’d bring ideas/suggestions to the management team to improve the business.
2: How’s it going so far?
You’d have to ask Andy and Leigh ?
I’m happy with the way I’ve integrated into the company. I feel like I’ve already been here for years, which is a huge compliment to everyone in the company.
3: What do you enjoy about being a Business Development Manager?
For me it’s all about on-boarding new clients… from seeking out new clients, opening dialogue, understanding their business and becoming a trusted advisor is a process I find very rewarding.
4: What do you see as being the biggest IT challenge for organisations?
I think the biggest challenge currently facing many small to medium sized businesses is the lack of financial IT budget to support IT Managers.
IT is so fast moving and is a fundamental part of any company helping with customer experience, productivity, growth and how an organisation can differentiate themselves. Most IT Managers I speak to, have the best intentions and want to build/provide systems that enable and work for the business, however there seems to be a view that IT is a cost outlay rather than an investment.
5: If you weren’t in Sales, what other role could you see yourself doing?
I think I would still be in IT, but maybe within a role in Vendor Management or Engineering. I like working within the IT industry as it’s so fast paced and constantly evolving which keeps me on my toes to constantly refresh my understanding and keep abreast of new trends which I can share with customers and colleagues. As a people person I enjoy building relationships with my clients, suppliers and colleagues and hopefully to be viewed as a trust advisor and expert.
6: If you could have 4 famous dinner guests, who would they be, past or present?
David Attenborough: HERO! No more to be said than that. You only need to look at the impact he made on the recent Planet II by demonstrating the damage that plastic materials is causing to marine life!
Marilyn Monroe: Aside from the obvious! I believe her amazing stories about the people she met during a game-changing part of history (JFK, Elvis, Rat Pack and many more) would be thoroughly entertaining.
Dwight D Eisenhower: No dinner party would be complete without some discussion around politics. He would provide some amazing insight from his days as the leader of WWII Allied Forces and US President!
Steve Tyler: One of my musical heroes who has been in the industry for over 45 years, so I’m sure we’d be able to persuade him to get his guitar out at some point and have a great Jam.
7: What technology device could you not live without?
My Smartphone, and it has to be Apple… I have adopted the full Apple suite – yes, I’m an iSheep!
8: How do you unwind at the end of a day?
Listen to music and building Lego (with my 5 year old son) ?
If you want get in touch with Ian, don’t hesitate to contact him at:
(t) 01189 186822
or visit his LinkedIn here.