CRIMINALS HAVE BEEN BUSY:
The COVID-19 pandemic dominated 2020. Cybercriminals have been busy exploiting vulnerabilities as a result of the pandemic, disrupting companies with remote working becoming a reality. We are all more exposed to cyber fraud due to the inevitable digital dependence, and this has resulted in cases of financial cybercrime being at an all-time high, with the numbers appearing to be on the rise.
CYBERCRIMINALS ARE ATTEMPTING TO EXPLOIT COMPANIES THAT ARE ADJUSTING TO THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF REMOTE WORK:
Increased online activity due to the new normal of working remotely has led to a significant surge in digital security lapses. We can all agree that since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a spike in fraudulent emails, spam in our corporate emails, enticing the user into clicking harmful attachments. When such emails are opened, there is a potential risk that the security of the systems may be compromised.
VOICE IMPERSONATION TECHNOLOGY AND MORE:
Cybercriminals are deploying sophisticated tools that enable them to mimic the voices and telephone numbers you are familiar with. People are more likely to answer a call from a recognised number and on answering the call, may even not realize they are caught in a scam as the scammer use voice manipulation technology to impersonate known individuals. We have assisted several clients who are victims of such scam calls and lost significant funds at the hands of criminals. It is increasingly apparent that fraudsters are being more creative and using technology in new ways so that they are successful in deceiving people.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
The Pandemic has undeniably transformed the world in several ways. Although there are no guaranteed ways to protect ourselves from cybercrime, there are many steps that individuals and businesses may consider taking in order to reduce the likelihood of being a target.
As we progress through digital transformation, we suggest:
1. that businesses revisit their technological infrastructure and provide sufficient cyber and data protection to ensure that the productivity of workers working from home is not impeded while also minimizing the cyber risk to businesses.
2. Businesses frequently implement frequent reminders to all employees so that awareness remains fresh.
3. We must strive to keep ourselves safe from such frauds by being vigilant and careful.
4. Do not open any files or email attachments if you are unfamiliar with the sender.
5. Do not give any personal information over the phone. Although the number and voice seem familiar, please do not share valuable information and money without verifying the call is genuine. If the call was legitimate, you should be able to reach them in an outgoing call or confirm if the call was genuine in person.
If you have found yourself a target of such activity, you need to act fast and report this to the authorities as soon as you can.
Alsuwaidi & Company have extensive expertise in cybercrime, and we can provide informed and comprehensive legal representation to clients across all types of cybercrimes.
Should you require legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ali Alraeesi is a partner and senior advocate at Alsuwaidi & Company.
Ali is a member of the United Arab Emirates Bar Association. He is experienced in Criminal, Civil and Commercial Law, and represents clients’ interests before all levels of the UAE courts.
To speak to Ali directly, contact him at [email protected]