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Paul Holland

Founder & CEO of Beyond Encryption

Happy New Year and welcome to the first 2021 edition of BEware

In the darkness of another national lock down it has again struck me how important it has become to take personal responsibility to protect others, as well as ourselves, in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Once again, in times of great threat comes a renewed appreciation for the value of community and personal commitment to the preservation, care and protection of others.

This is something we have also seen reflected clearly in the growing, secure community of Mailock users; from individuals and small businesses through to major international companies, such as Aegon, each taking responsibility to secure emails to protect themselves, their customers and their people from cyber criminals.

After all the challenges of 2020, I hope that in years to come we can all look back at 2021 as a moment of change for good and the year we not only turned the tide against Covid-19 but also against the scourge of cyber-crime and became a more secure community.

While an ever-increasing number of businesses are choosing Mailock based on its proven, user-friendly security features and underlying technology, what they also discover, post-adoption, are the many wider benefits that the system provides.

Using Mailock for client communication in preference to traditional print, pack and post not only drives down stationery and postage costs considerably, it aligns the company with more agile customer engagement and results in a vastly reduced carbon footprint for client communications.

Beyond Encryption & Origo's Unipass Mailock email security system has just been released by Royal London - the UK’s largest mutual insurer, with Group funds under management of £100 billion. That means Royal London is supporting independent advisers and their clients who can rest assured that they are protected from the risks of being hacked by cybersecurity criminals when transacting and administering pensions, ISAs, funds, investment bonds and life policies.

This follows on from the first Unipass Mailock implementation with Aegon back in September.

IFA Firm 'Responsible' for Consequences of Fraud

An advice firm has been ordered to compensate a client after their pension pot was raided by email fraudsters.

In a case reported in The FT Adviser and based on events which took place in 2018, the Financial Ombudsman Service ruled that the IFA firm in question*, was responsible for failing to stop a fraudulent withdrawal from their client's self-invested personal pension.

As a result, ombudsman Kevin Williamson ordered the firm to reimburse the client's pension by nearly £8,000, to cover any missed investment returns and to pay £250 for the trouble and upset caused.

*We have chosen not to name the IFA firm relating to this story in our summary article. Please be aware that if you proceed to access the full FT Online article that the firm is named within it.

You can read the full article here

Huw's News

While the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been hugely damaging to many businesses throughout the UK, it continues to provide a hugely fertile hunting ground for cyber-criminals who are finding new ways to threaten and undermine the wealth and livelihoods of innocent people.

A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the targeting of home buyers during the current house sales boom in the run up to the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Referencing a recent report from UK Finance, an organisation representing financial firms, the article (a full version of which you can read here) stated that 'in the first half of 2020, £16.2m had been lost from personal accounts through frauds involving customers being sent fake emails with new payment details'.

Sky High Penalties for Data Breach?

It has been widely reported in recent days that British Airways is facing a potential £800 million lawsuit over a 2018 data breach.

The Evening Standard reports that 'More than 16,000 people have signed up to the plan to litigate against the UK's flag carrier, in what lawyers behind the case call the biggest group-action personal data claim in British history', with the potential for the ultimate number of claimants to reach 420,000

The looming lawsuit relates to BA's revelation of a breach in its systems in September 2018 which leaked customers' names, debit and credit card numbers, addresses and email addresses.

Read the full Evening Standard Article here

New Year resolutions?

Many of us are guilty of making resolutions that quickly fade away early in the New Year, but given the unprecedented threat levels of data theft and identity fraud, the following are essential tips to help you stay secure in 2021:

• Never send sensitive or personal information via unprotected email

• Always make sure you verify the identity of an intended email recipient in advance

• Never open attachments received from unknown email accounts

• Discover how Mailock secure email can protect you, your business, and your clients

Top Tips

Poor password choices remain a major factor in global data breaches. According to a 2019 National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) report, highlighted in the Independent, password choices that should be avoided at all costs include:

• Password

• 12345

• QWERTY

• 11111

A key way to increase the security of your password choices is simply to choose three random words that you can remember as your password e.g. tennisredtree

Including spaces in such passwords is also an excellent idea as it will greatly increase password complexity and security e.g. tennis red tree