Week Ending: 9th April - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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It’s Friday, so you know what that means, it’s time for our Weekly Roundup! With all the confusing weather we’ve had this week and only a four-day working week, you may have missed the latest developments in the I.T. and Tech industry.

From Microsoft and Zoom being the most impersonated brands for phishing attacks last year, to the lack of professional technology experience at board level, and a Microsoft survey on firmware.

Let’s get you up to date.

Microsoft and Zoom, most impersonated brands for phishing attacks

Multinational technology giant, Microsoft, and video conferencing company, Zoom, have recently been named the most impersonated companies used in cyberattacks.

According to research by Atlas VPN, 80% of last year’s brand email phishing campaigns imitated Microsoft or Zoom. Microsoft alone was used in a staggering 28,536 unique phishing attempts; this accounts for 70% of all brand phishing campaigns in 2020.

Ruth Cizynski, cybersecurity researcher at Atlas VPN commented

“With the eruption of the global pandemic, most of our lives transferred online, and cybercriminals were quick to take advantage of the situation by launching new scam schemes and phishing attacks. When it comes to the latter, fraudsters favoured brands and industries that people were relying on most during the pandemic.”

With demand for software like Microsoft and Zoom increasing dramatically during the pandemic it’s not a surprise that cybercriminals have opted to take this route. Microsoft along with other trusted consumer brands - Netflix, DocuSign, LinkedIn, Apple and Dropbox were used in brand phishing attacks totalling to 72% of all phishing scams in 2020.

Read more here.

Nine-in-ten bank boards lack professional technology experience

The financial sector has had to make some big changes as digitalisation continues to intensify. However, almost 90% of board directors at leading banks have confessed to lacking professional technology experience.

Digital technology has become a ‘game-changer’ with artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) providing companies with cost effective ways to improve security, productivity and customer experience. The banking sector has actually been amongst the fastest to take up new technology in the past few years, although many boards don’t have the technological experience to keep up, making them vulnerable to competitors that are digitally savvy.

According to research conducted by Accenture, only 6% of board directors have professional technology experience. With this lack of experience, how can companies be assured that the technology introduced will be maintained or even protected properly?

Mauro Macchi, leader of Accenture Strategy & Consulting commented

“Much of the disruption brought about by the pandemic has led to a rapid shift within banking to more digital touchpoints, requiring speedy technology investments. Banks that are accelerating their cloud adoption to better manage change would benefit from a board with technology experience that can help ensure that technology investments are compatible across various business units.”

If board directors lack this expertise, how can the workers be reassured that the technology investments will minimise the risks and maximise the benefits? Introducing technology expertise as a skill for new hires may help bridge the gap in knowledge without making any rash decisions.

Discover more here.

Should businesses be more worried about firmware attacks?

Microsoft recently put out a report claiming that businesses across the globe are neglecting a key part of their cybersecurity – the need to protect computers, servers and other devices from firmware attacks.

Firmware isn’t new, but many people are unsure about how it works. Firmware is a type of permanent software code used to control each hardware component in a PC. Increasingly, cyber-criminals are designing malware that quietly tampers with the firmware in motherboards, which tell the PC to start up, or with the firmware in hardware drivers.

According to Microsoft’s international survey, 80% of firms have experienced at least one firmware attack in the last two year, however only 29% actually have budgets allocated to protect their business from such an attack. Is this lack of education or because businesses are really not sure about the level of threat?

There’s been much debate online about the timing of this survey from Microsoft, given the recent security vulnerability affecting its Exchange and email system, and sceptics are saying that it may just be an attempt by Microsoft to divert attention.

Or is this something businesses really need to be worried about?

Those were just some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: