Phishing – is best described as a criminal activity in which sensitive information is retrieved via email or telephone by fraudulent individuals who disguise themselves as trustworthy, legitimate institutions.

Many business owners have fallen victim to such attacks at great cost. According to the Business Report*, businesses with less than 50 employees are key targets for cybercrimes. This threatens sensitive information such as client and payment information of organisations with Microsoft becoming a target for most hackers.

Legislation such as the Cybercrimes Bill have been in the pipeline in order to challenge these issues, but these often only become effective after the crime has been committed. Over many years, Microsoft Office 365 has attempted to develop solutions that either prevent or counter those who try hack into their user’s systems – however this has proven to be difficult. According to industry expert Adrien Gendre*, attackers disguise themselves via mock messages and notifications sent by Office 365 – and in this way, users are manipulated into providing their credentials inadvertently providing the hackers with the information they need to perform the attacks.

With this said, Office 365 has developed a feature which successfully addresses this increasingly recurrent issue.

We constantly receive enquiries about this from our clients, and as Microsoft specialists, we have undertaken to inform our customers about the ATP anti-phishing which can be found in the Security and Compliance Center. This feature works as a system which detects any foreign organism which attempts to impersonate the Office 365 software.

In addition, Microsoft cautions its users when the programme suspects any threats. In cases where Microsoft suspects any dubious activity, a warning message will appear on your screen. Usually, these are identified as commonly reported sites by other victims across the platform. As an added benefit, Microsoft* provides its users with warning signs their users must be aware of. For instance: users are requested to supply personal information from an questionable source, to verify personal information to avoid suspending an account, to sell something and are promised a usually higher offer and finally, making direct payments to suspicious sites, then it is likely that phishing scheme is at play. In most cases, these suspicious links prompt their users for their credit card details and other personal data which may result in fraudulent transactions or identity theft.

In cases where phishing does occur, Microsoft provides its users with a forum whereby they can report online fraud. For more information regarding identifying phishing schemes or other categories of identity theft, you can click on the second link provided below.

Tealtek offers both customised Microsoft training programmes and advice related to Office 365 and how you and your employees can optimise the advanced features such as the afore-mentioned. Give our sales consultant Tracy a call on 063 653 5039 or send her an email at tracy@tealtek.co.za.

Sources*:
www.iol.co.za/business-report
support.office.com