Business Emails Scams Tops FBI List of Costly Cyber-Attacks

Today’s topics include an FBI report that online victims lost more than $1.3 billion last year; an agreement by Cisco and Apple to extend their partnership on mobile and networking technology; new hybrid cloud storage options from IBM and Cisco, and Microsoft's deployment of its data loss prevention technology to Office on Windows PCs.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued its 28-page 2016 Internet Crime Report, detailing $1.33 billion in victim losses from a total of 298,728 complaints during the year.

Multiple forms of online attacks, including business email compromise (BEC), tech support fraud and various payment scams were reported to the IC3 in last year. Surprisingly ransomware, which has been cited as a growing trend in multiple security vendor reports, was not found to be a major factor in the IC3's 2016 report.

The top source of fraud by financial loss that was reported to the IC3 in 2016 was BEC. Also known as email account compromise (EAC), BEC is a type of scam where an attacker uses phishing email to trick a company into paying fraudulent invoices and accounts payable requests.

Apple and Cisco initially partnered two years ago with the goal of improving the collaboration and communications experience of iPhone and iPad users.

Now that alliance is expanding to include security. Toward the end of Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins’ keynote address during the first day of the Cisco Live 2017 show in Las Vegas, June 26, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise appearance on stage, where the two executives talked about extending their relationship, particularly in the field of security.

Security is an essential pillar of Cisco’s “intent-based” networking initiative that kicked off last week while Cook noted that new security features are coming in the iOS 11 operating system.

IBM revealed at the Cisco Live conference that enterprises using Cisco UCS servers can manage their data-intensive workloads securely and efficiently on-premises using the IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) System, which is now available as a VersaStack option.

The COS is a pre-tested system designed to offer flexible storage capacity for unstructured data in use cases that are becoming more and more common with the influx of big data sources—active archive, backup, content repository, enterprise collaboration and cloud application development.

It is also effective with very large data-sets, such as genomics processing, media and entertainment, scientific projects and others.

Office 365 customers now have another tool to help them prevent leaks of sensitive information from Office data files.

Microsoft has extended its data loss prevention technology, Windows Information Protection (WIP), to Office on Windows PCs, announced Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Office at Microsoft.

Formerly dubbed enterprise data protection, WIP was baked into the 2016 Windows 10 Anniversary Update. WIP provides businesses copy and paste protection features, enabling businesses to better control the flow of sensitive or private information. It can also be used to prevent unauthorized apps from accessing critical business data.