Understanding Potential Cyber Threats: Your Email Inbox

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was established by the Department of Homeland Security to support and educate individuals and businesses against cybercrimes such as ransomware, malware and phishing. How prepared and knowledgeable you?

Millions of people use email to communicate day to day for personal and professional use. Malicious hackers are continually targeting users to get them to share their personal and financial information, or to download malware and viruses by entering their mailbox and appearing as a credible sender.

According to Lifewire, “…Google had over 1 billion monthly active users in early 2016.” and “In early 2018, had a reported 400 million active users.” This presents a large window of opportunity for hackers to try and infiltrate your email inbox. Bennett Office Technologies takes email security seriously and partnered with Barracuda, ensuring clients are protected with the latest industry tools and updates available.

Understanding the Language of Email and Cybersecurity

According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), 76% of security breaches were financially motivated and 68% of breaches took “six months or longer” to be detected. Bennett Office Technologies provides IT Services to clients affected by hackers, from recovering data, removing viruses and malware, to restoring a computer or laptop to service with ransomware. This work can be sensitive and our team of professionals understands the impact these disruptions have on clients from a personal and business perspective.

Phishing and Spearphishing

Many of our clients are familiar with the term phishing, but not as many are aware of the term spear phishing. Phishing is a method used by cybercriminals to trick users to open links and attachments that allow hackers to gain access to personal information such as logins and passwords, or install malware, viruses and ransomware. Phishing emails most often appear with typos, poor grammar and can be more obvious to spot.

Spear phishing focuses on businesses and operates in a more complex manner; C-suite executives are most frequently the target along with the company’s accounting and finance departments. In both instances social engineering is at work, hackers may review information on social networks, company websites and directories. With information scraped online, hackers can build a campaign against a company to get an unsuspecting employee to transfer funds to fraudulent bank accounts.

Attacks against senior executives are also known as whaling attacks. Remember, there should always be verbal communication prior to executing a fund transfer request that seems unusual. If it’s not possible to communicate in person, use a video solution such as Skype or Zoom to have a face-to-face dialogue. Contact Bennett Office Technologies for an assessment of your environment.

Malware vs Ransomware


Since Verizon’s first DBIR report in 2012, ransomware attacks on servers, rather than individual workstations increased by over 20%. Cyber criminals are attacking at a larger scale rather targeting a single computer. Ransomware will encrypt a workstation or server, making it inaccessible to the owner. A hacker will send a message to the owner claiming it will return the workstation back to service upon receipt of a monetary payment. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated the financial cost of these attacks on business is increasing.


Malware attacks are a less advanced form of cybercrime compared to ransomware, but still disruptive to individuals and companies when factoring in time lost in productivity and delayed transactions. Malware includes viruses and spyware and can target computers on a PC platform or specific applications like Java.

Computer Diagnosis and Computer Repair with Bennett Office Technology

Contact Bennett Office Technologies for a Free Technology Assessment, we’ll review your security concerns and recommend the appropriate course of action to protect your technology assets.

We treat our clients as partners and hire the best certified IT technicians to work with us. Complete our Free Technology Assessment form and we’ll contact you to do a free assessment of your IT business needs, and we’ll contact you to schedule a free session!

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