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Paul Holland

Founder & CEO of Beyond Encryption

Welcome to the Christmas edition of BEware

After a hugely challenging year, we can all now at least, thanks to recent Covid-19 vaccine development news, prepare for the festive season with cautious optimism for a safer 2021.

Christmas is a time for relaxing, safe at home, with our families, but while we all hope the end of the pandemic may be in sight, the festive season represents a hugely fertile opportunity for another source of serious threat to us all - cyber-criminals.

Sadly, despite the seasonal increase in digital communications, far too few individuals and businesses take adequate steps to secure their emails - sending an open invitation to data and identity thieves who won't need to be 'asked twice'.

Our secure email clients can relax over Christmas with their loved ones, safe in the knowledge that when they aren't at work, our Mailock system will carry on working for them - 24/7 to protect their data, their privacy and their livelihoods.

It's not what you know...

In our last issue we highlighted the role that human error plays in many instances of cyber-crime, something unfortunately evidenced by the growth in investment scams in 2020.

While regulatory responsibilities to protect email communications like GDPR are widely known, far less recognised is that, under ICO regulations, businesses also have a legal responsibility to verify the identity of intended email recipients before permitting access to its content.

Mailock empowers its users to authenticate recipient ID using SMS codes, question and answer challenges or, in the case of Financial Services organisations, via Origo's Unipass Mailock infrastructure.

Huw's News

Sleep in heavenly peace?

The Investment Association (IA) has recently highlighted a massive increase in investment scams since the beginning of the March lockdown, with an estimated £10 Million lost to cyber-criminals in the period. The IA report also estimates close to a near 400% increase in major investment scams in the period since July. The IA said that many scams involve criminals cloning and impersonating real companies, making them very difficult to spot.

The point is that both companies and individuals can easily be attacked.

A unique part of the way Mailock works is to allow you to securely identify each intended email recipient in advance. This means that you will know the actual individual you're communicating with - directly and specifically. Perhaps as importantly, you can sleep soundly at night - and while you take the opportunity to put your feet up over the festive period, our Mailock systems will be working as hard as ever on your behalf.

It's just what we do.

Mailock put to work for the Recruitment Industry

In addition to continuing, widespread adoption within the financial services and legal sectors, Mailock is also the preferred secure email system for the UK recruitment sector; something clearly highlighted by its partnership with the Recruitment Industry's leading body, The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The type of sensitive data moving around in this industry: Bank details, CVs, individuals' HR information, personal health data, pay information, passports, driving licences, utility bills and so forth, are meat and drink to potential digital criminals, and certainly not unique to the recruitment industry.

Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said: “The REC is continually finding new ways to help members overcome the challenges they face on a daily basis. Cybercrime is a key business risk of the modern age and recruiters need to stay ahead in order to thrive. Meeting regulatory requirements and the expectations of clients and candidates starts with getting the right advice. We're very pleased to introduce Mailock® to the REC network.”

Top Tips

The National Cyber Security Centre advises 6 key actions to reduce the risk of becoming a Cyber Crime victim during the Christmas period:

• Using a strong and separate password for your email - names and sequential numbers are often not enough

• Using three random words to create stronger passwords - easy to remember, difficult to hack - there's two straight away!

• Saving your passwords in your browser

• Using Two-factor authentication (2FA) - like we do

• Updating your devices - new systems should be more robust

• Backing up your data - regular updates make it more difficult to hack you, if the cyber criminal has been tracking you for some time

Top Tip: Mailock securely encrypts your email and empowers two-factor authentication of email recipients in advance, as a matter of course.