Better Cybersecurity: It Starts at Your Inbox

Celebrities. They can do so much more than entertain and distract. They can teach us how to improve our own cybersecurity.

In March of this year, Fox News reported that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had created a task force to investigate a rash of celebrity home robberies. “Kendall Jenner had $200,000 worth of jewelry stolen from a bedroom in her Hollywood Hills home on March 16, Alanis Morissette was robbed of $2 million in jewelry in February, and Nicki Minaj had $175,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables taken from her home. Other celebs hit by the recent Hollywood heists include Kevin Hart, Chris Brown, Scott Disick, Blac Chyna, Jamie Pressley and Cesar Millan.”

These celebrities’ woes share two factors worthy of your attention. The first: “All of the celebrities were struck when they were out of town.” The second, as an LAPD detective told Fox News: “They could be social media driven.”

The Celebrity-Cybersecurity Connection

Celebrities, like many of us, post vacation photos, videos, and other content on social networks. Unfortunately, those posts can provide burglars with all the information they need to decide whose house to hit and when.

What’s that got to do with cybersecurity at your enterprise? Checked the out-of-office automated email replies you and your colleagues are using when you’re away?

Malefactors seeking to infiltrate enterprises often use phishing emails and other forms of social engineering to convince legitimate users to compromise those enterprises. Those out-of-office messages can provide useful guidance to those seeking access to your networks and resources they shouldn’t have.

Fortunately, the same automated reply technologies can be used to educate and motivate your users to be more cybersecurity-minded. Here’s a great example: the out-of-office message recently created by Ivanti Solutions Director Duncan McAlynn.

“Did you know that Out-of-Office messages can help hackers phish your organization? People often leave detailed information about where they are, what they’re doing and how long they’ll be gone in these messages.

“With a little added social engineering hackers can then identify others in the org that they can prey on (by phone or email) that goes like this:

“’Hi Sally, this is so-and-so from the accounts receivables department at Acme. I just got off of the phone with John Q Public and he’s asked me to get with you about a wire transfer that needs to happen today to avoid interest charges on an outstanding invoice. John said he’s too busy at the expo in San Fran to do it himself and wants me to work with you instead since he won’t be back in the office until Monday.’

“Do you see how the info in John’s OOO message provided all the info needed to prey on Sally?

“All that said, I am indeed out of the office and that’s all you need to know for now. I’ll respond as quickly as possible. Thank you.”

Improve Cybersecurity at and Beyond Your Inbox with Ivanti

Out-of-office messages represent a quick, straightforward, cost-free way to make your users more secure, more involved in their own security, and more aware of threats to that security. There are others worth pursuing as well. (See “Three Things You Can Do Now to Increase User Contributions to Cybersecurity at Your Enterprise” and “User Education for Cybersecurity: Yes, It’s Worth It.”) But for maximum effectiveness, those efforts must be supported by comprehensive, effective technologies. And Ivanti has what you need.

Effectively fight and rapidly remediate malware attacks. Gain granular, flexible control over your users’ applications, devices, and admin rights. Patch and update your endpoints and servers more rapidly and consistently, without increasing your team’s workload or size. And through September, get combinations of select Ivanti cybersecurity solutions at discounts of up to 30 percent.

Visit Ivanti online or contact us today. Let us help you combine modern, effective technologies with savvy policies and processes, to make and keep your enterprise and its users safer.