Smishing On The Rise – What Can Consumers And Organisations Do To Avoid Being Caught Out?

BACKGROUND:

In the light of Ofcom’s report finding a startling rise in smishing attacks, cybersecurity experts reacted below.

Experts Comments

October 25, 2021
Stephen Bradford
SVP EMEA
SailPoint

The sharp rise in text message scams – or smishing – should be a stark warning to the public. With almost three-quarters (71%) of UK adults receiving these in the past few months alone, it’s clear cyber criminals aren’t holding back from targeting victims using new methods.

This comes as more businesses use SMS to engage with customers, to accommodate the digital-first mindset that now characterises many consumers. But this also opens the doors to threat actors able to masquerade as popular

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The sharp rise in text message scams – or smishing – should be a stark warning to the public. With almost three-quarters (71%) of UK adults receiving these in the past few months alone, it’s clear cyber criminals aren’t holding back from targeting victims using new methods.

This comes as more businesses use SMS to engage with customers, to accommodate the digital-first mindset that now characterises many consumers. But this also opens the doors to threat actors able to masquerade as popular websites or customer service support.

Consumers must be extra vigilant and refrain from clicking any links in text messages that they’re unsure about. It’s also crucial they are keeping their data, identities and banking information safe – for example, by not taking pictures of their credit card and financial information, since photos often get stored in the cloud, which risks potential exposure to malicious actors.

Organisations should care too, since new channels mean exposure to new vulnerabilities – and the potential for a breach to severely damage consumer trust and brand loyalty. To reduce the risk of scams, businesses must implement multiple security controls – this should be standard best practice for cyber security.

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