Recent reports suggest Eastern Block European countries may start seeking Russia for security-related concerns. What these reports don’t underscore is that there may be implications for your business! I want to take a few moments to explain how Russian influence may increase your cyber security vulnerabilities.

What is all this about eastern block countries seeking Russian protection?

A recent Gallup poll of 4 NATO countries—specifically Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia and Turkey—has suggested that popular sentiment is leaning TOWARDS Russian support and away from the US. People in those countries are feeling that Russian policies may be better in their self-interest than those of Americans.

Russian cyber security threats persist to riddle American businesses of all sizes A recent forensics report on ransomware identified that over 1.4 million businesses were hit by ransomware last year.  What’s startling is that over 75% of ransomware has been developed by Russian speaking cyber criminals.

What’s even more concerning is that Russia is ACTIVELY swaying eastern Europe

Russia has been campaigning to win hearts and minds of eastern European countries. It has already attempted to sway governments in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Servia and Slovakia. Russian government even recently admitted that it has heavily invested in cyber warfare—that it has expanded its post-Cold War cyber espionage efforts.

If Russian officials are investing more in cyber warfare, don’t think you’re not a target!

With greater investment and recruitment to cyber efforts, don’t think that your data is safe. More Russian-leaning policies in European countries may mean increasing cyber threats from those countries on your business. Recent attacks—targeted at accountants and tax preparers—have been originating in eastern countries, like Romania, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. Phishing scams have gotten so sophisticated that even some of the more cautious professions—CPAs, accountants, and healthcare administrators, for example—have been falling for scams hand over foot.

Just to shed some light on a common attack hitting accountants in Southeastern Michigan:

The attack:  impersonating accounting software providers into stealing your credentials.

The “Access Locked” attack is aimed at getting access into your cloud accounting software (just having the cloud WILL NOT protect you from these attacks). One click on a bad link can give hackers complete access to your system.

The Internal Revenue Service is warning all tax professionals to be on alert. The scam comes with the subject line “Access Locked” and tells recipients that access to their tax prep software accounts have been “suspended due to errors in your security details”. You are asked to click on the “unlock” link provided within the email.

But the link is to a malicious website where many accountants have already given away their credentials to their cloud accounting accounts! Leaving their client data compromised to the point where IRS is not accepting it! For more info on phishing scam detection and how to completely avoid getting attacked visit our Avoid Scams.

And if you have any immediate concerns, please call us immediately so that we can put together a security plan for your business!