Email phishing scams increasing rapidly – what is the answer?

Almost everyone who has an email account will have received large numbers of unsolicited emails from an unknown sender requesting that the recipient “click here” to gain access to a website or service that offers something of interest or value. Some of these are laughably inept, and are so obviously scams that they can be deleted immediately. However, an increasing number are from criminals who purport to represent a reputable and trusted party, often cleverly formatted in a way that makes it very difficult to differentiate between the scam and the real thing.

In 2015, the last full year for which there is appropriate data, instances of phishing emails of this type rose by 21% in the UK, as reported in the media by Silicon.  As the article suggests, the organisations that have been falsely represented most often in the UK are BT, Apple and HMRC. The Apple emails in particular are very realistic. Clicking the link as requested will normally result in ransomware or some other form of malware being downloaded on to the recipient’s computer, leading to problems that can be very damaging and difficult to deal with.

Increasingly the criminals have turned their attention to banks and their clients, and social media services such as LinkedIn. Safe4 have recently worked with Investec, one of the financial sector’s most respected specialist banking and asset management service providers, to offer solutions to this ever-worsening problem. This involves using the Safe4 service to create a highly secure vault, into which clients can place their own important documents, and which can also be used as a means of distributing bank-generated documents to clients. It will thus become possible to inform clients that if any unsolicited email is received bearing the bank’s branding, it should be deleted immediately.

Investec, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, also have a substantial presence in the UK and in other locations internationally. The Safe4 integration project was carried by the Investec Digital team in Johannesburg, who worked closely with the Safe4 developers in the UK and South Africa. Investec are no strangers to innovation, and are constantly seeking ways to improve their clients’ banking experience, and importantly to increase the level of protection offered to clients.

Safe4 offers a highly secure facility for distributing documents to any recipient outside the sender’s own IT domain. Using UK-located data centres only, accredited to the ISO 27001 international security standard, Safe4 has been independently ranked among the 0.8% most secure site on the internet, out of millions tested.

Contact us for more information on the Safe4 service, and for ideas on how using Safe4 can enhance the security of your communication with the outside world.