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Cyber Security

Tenable Warns About a Rise in Romance Scams

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Romance scams are on the rise and Valentine’s Day is just one example of when these scams can significantly increase. The reality is that scammers are constantly looking to prey on those looking for genuine connections and abuse the currency of trust. Reports from around the globe show a similar trend in the rise of romance scams resulting in millions of dollars being lost.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that individuals have lost a staggering $1.3 billion to romance scams over the last five years. According to figures from Action Fraud,  UK victims have been conned out of £317 million over the past four years. According to ScamWatch Australians reported losing over $40 million in 2022 to romance scams. In a statement by the National Police in the European Union following the arrest 16 alleged cybercriminals who carried out an online scam dubbed the ‘love scam’ around 20 people across Europe were conned out of millions of euros.

Tenable has warned that dating apps are a prime destination for scammers looking to prey on vulnerable individuals seeking romance. Scammers create fake profiles using stolen photographs and pose as someone else. Once connected, they may tout get-rich-quick schemes, especially cryptocurrency investment scams, to lure unsuspecting users into fake investment websites in order to steal their funds.

Pig butchering scams
One of the latest schemes to make headlines is “Pig Butchering”, which targets individuals across various messaging, social networks, and dating apps through wrong-number text messages and fake dating prospects. Pig Butchering derives tactics from romance and cryptocurrency scams that rely on duping victims of money by gaining their trust with the promise of a real relationship. Scammers then exploit this trust by luring their victims into an investment scheme, typically cryptocurrency but may also include Forex or precious metals like Gold — much like feeding a hog before killing it.

Adult dating websites
On dating apps, scammers will also create fake profiles to drive potential victims to external adult dating websites. These websites, which are often seeded with fake users, leverage affiliate programs to help drive traffic. As a result, scammers abuse the affiliate programs to direct victims to create accounts on these websites with valid email addresses, which earn them a modest profit between $2.00 – $4.00. The holy grail is a premium lead, which is where a victim inputs their credit card information into these websites, which can earn a scammer anywhere between $50-$100 per sign-up.

ChatGPT fuel scams
Poorly constructed sentences or grammatical errors are one of the few tell-tale signs of phishing emails and dating app profiles. With the prevalence of Pig Butchering scams, ChatGPT could aid scammers by helping them create more believable profiles. This technology can also be used to help facilitate scripts used by dating and romance scammers when trying to convince their potential victims to part ways with their money or cryptocurrency.

“For dating app users, it’s increasingly important to remain skeptical, especially when being asked to participate in a get-rich-quick scheme around cryptocurrency or to send money to someone you barely know,” said Satnam Narang, Senior Staff Researcher, Tenable. “Scammers are playing on people’s vulnerabilities and need for connection. If anyone on a dating app is trying to get you to invest money into something, it’s a huge red flag. Always err on the side of caution and use the reporting tool built into the dating apps to flag potential fake profiles and scammers.”

What can users do if they come across a dubious account?

  1. If users do come across a suspicious account, they should use the reporting tool built into the dating apps to flag these profiles so providers can remove them ASAP.
  2. Don’t ever give money to people on dating sites, no matter how desperate they say they need it.
  3. If you’re asked or pressured into participating in an investment opportunity, such as cryptocurrency or Forex by a potential dating prospect, recognize that you are being scammed and report the account and/or block the user.
  4. Screenshot photos from Tinder profiles, then drag and drop them into Reverse Image Search tools like Google Image Search or Tineye to see if they’re taken from an existing source. Scammers love stealing images from various websites.

Cyber Security

Netskope Joins Google Workspace Security Alliance

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Netskope has joined the Google Workspace Security Alliance to extend security and data protection for Workspace users. The Netskope One Platform provides a number of advanced security capabilities that protect data, defend against threats, and ensure users have fast and secure access to Google Workspace productivity and collaboration tools, including Gemini for Workspace.

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud technologies to drive innovation and efficiency, they are also challenged to secure sensitive data from a range of cyber risks, including:

  • Ongoing increases in the number of users uploading sensitive data to personal instances of cloud applications
  • New and evolving threat techniques such as abuse of certain applications for critical data access, back doors, and financial gain; compromise of credentials to access critical business data; insider threats; and more
  • Data exposure from the insecure use of both managed and unmanaged AI-based productivity tools

Netskope and Google Workspace empower organizations to embrace modern collaboration and productivity by enabling the secure use of AI-based productivity tools. Netskope provides advanced data loss prevention (DLP) techniques, delivering real-time visibility and control over users, data, and corporate vs. personal cloud instances. In addition, Netskope’s comprehensive threat protection through both API and inline controls detects threats in Google applications and monitors data movement and threat propagation between Google Workspace apps and third-party ecosystem applications.

“Netskope is proud to expand its partnership with Google Workspace by joining the Workspace Security Alliance. There are already thousands of customers using Netskope to safeguard their Google Workspace applications, and this new partnership further enhances the secure usage capabilities for application specific data protection policies,” said Andy Horwitz, VP, Global Partner Ecosystems, Netskope. “Together, Netskope and Google Workspace can help customers modernize their productivity stack. We look forward to helping customers safely optimize their employees’ daily productivity.”

The Netskope and Google Workspace partnership enables organizations to embrace collaboration and productivity while safeguarding critical data. Joint customers can now more effectively:

  1. Support best practice use of Gemini for Google Workspace: Leverage real-time user coaching to help enforce best practices in application usage. Organizations can gain visibility into data movement to minimize sensitive information sharing while achieving data compliance objectives.
  2. Protect sensitive data: Detect and manage access to sensitive data within Google Workspace applications, enforcing policies to prevent unauthorized data movement across platforms, including third-party services like Microsoft OneDrive, Box and Dropbox.
  3. Stop insider threats like data exfiltration: Prevent the download of sensitive data from Google Workspace business instances and then the upload to personal instances, which is one of today’s top reasons for data loss. Additionally, apply this control to unmanaged devices: allow unmanaged or personal device access to a specific cloud app for collaboration, however, do not allow downloading of sensitive data.
  4. Detect and stop elusive threats and malware: Protect against malware and phishing delivered from the cloud. Netskope’s multi-layered advanced threat protection (ATP) enhances security within Google Workspace and across cloud applications.
  5. Maintain compliance in Google Workspace: Ensure that organizations can adhere to regulations and meet compliance needs by enforcing security policies within Google Workspace.

“By partnering with Netskope, a leading SASE vendor, customers can confidently expand their Google Workspace adoption leveraging their existing IT infrastructure investments,” said Nikhil Sinha, Group Product Manager, Google Workspace. “Netskope instance awareness enables fine grained data governance policy differences to both corporate and personal Google Workspace accounts. We are excited to partner with Netskope to provide these advanced security capabilities to our customers.”

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Channel Talk

AmiViz and BitSight Join Forces to Elevate Middle East Risk Management

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AmiViz has partnered with Bitsight, a leading provider of cyber risk management solutions. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in bolstering cybersecurity capabilities across the region and facilitating Bitsight’s expansion efforts in the Middle East.

The partnership between AmiViz and Bitsight will enhance the cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East by introducing state-of-the-art solutions designed to tackle the evolving cyber threats confronting regional organizations. With both companies committed to improving cybersecurity awareness and resilience, they are set to pave the way for a safer and more secure digital environment in the region.

Commenting on the partnership with Bitsight, Ilyas Mohammed, COO at AmiViz said, “Our decision to onboard Bitsight demonstrates our commitment towards the evolution of the cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East. As organizations grapple with increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, the partnership between these two industry leaders promises to deliver enhanced value by equipping organizations with the tools and insights needed to effectively manage cyber risks and safeguard their digital assets in an ever-evolving threat landscape.”

Bitsight’s solutions can proactively assess and manage their cyber risk exposure and provide organizations with actionable intelligence to optimize their security investments, streamline vendor risk management processes, and enhance cyber resilience. With a focus on continuous monitoring and data-driven insights, Bitsight empowers organizations to make informed decisions and stay ahead of emerging cyber threats.

The Middle East has often been an attractive target for cyber-attacks, and this partnership will empower companies to address vulnerabilities and protect their digital assets proactively. By combining AmiViz’s deep understanding of the regional market dynamics with Bitsight’s cutting-edge technology and global expertise, the partnership will offer next-generation cybersecurity solutions tailored to the unique challenges and requirements of Middle Eastern organizations.

“We are proud to partner with AmiViz to transform the cyber risk management landscape in the Middle East,” said Xavier Artiguebieille, Senior Vice President, EMEA Sales at Bitsight. “Our combined efforts will equip organizations with the critical tools and intelligence needed to navigate and mitigate the complexities of modern cyber threats, enhancing their overall security and resilience.”

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Artificial Intelligence

ESET’s New AI Assistant Streamlines Threat Detection and Response

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ESET has introduced ESET AI Advisor, an innovative generative AI-based cybersecurity assistant that transforms incident response and interactive risk analysis. First showcased at RSA Conference 2024, the new solution is now available as part of the ESET PROTECT MDR Ultimate subscription tier and ESET Threat Intelligence.

Unlike other vendor offerings and typical generative AI assistants that focus on soft features like administration or device management, ESET AI Advisor seamlessly integrates into the day-to-day operations of security analysts, conducting in-depth analysis. Building on over two decades of ESET’s expertise in AI-driven endpoint protection, the offering provides detailed incident data and SOC team-level advisory. This is a game-changer for companies with limited IT resources who want to utilize the advantages of advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions and threat intelligence feeds.

“As cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, ESET remains committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that address these challenges. The ESET AI Advisor module represents a significant leap forward in our mission to close the cybersecurity skills gap and empower organizations to safeguard their digital assets effectively,” said Juraj Malcho, Chief Technology Officer at ESET.

One of the primary benefits of this new solution is closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Security analysts of all skill levels can use ESET AI Advisor to conduct interactive risk identification, analysis, and response capabilities, which are provided in an easily understandable format. The user-friendly interface makes sophisticated threat data actionable even for less experienced IT and security professionals.

The ESET AI Advisor also excels in facilitating faster decision-making for critical incidents. Security analysts can simply consult the ESET AI Advisor to understand the specific threats their environment faces. Leveraging extensive XDR collected data, the ESET AI Advisor identifies and analyzes potential malware threats, providing intuitive insights into their behaviour and impact. It assists in recognizing phishing attempts and advising users on how to avoid falling victim to fraudulent emails or websites. By monitoring network traffic, the ESET AI Advisor can flag unusual or suspicious behaviour, helping security teams take appropriate action. Its ability to automate repetitive tasks is an additional advantage. Managing routine processes such as data collection, extraction, and basic threat detection, allows security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

In ESET Threat Intelligence, the new module will help researchers analyze vast quantities of unique APT reports and understand latest developments in world of cyber threats. With its conversational prompts and interactive dialogue, ESET AI Advisor empowers organizations to analyze and mitigate threats effortlessly and fortify their cybersecurity posture.

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