Tech companies, such as Qualcomm, Apple and Microsoft, are also targeted by thieves due to their valuable intellectual property, Basu said.
Today’s scammers have moved beyond the so-called Nigerian prince ruse, said David Inmon, CEO of Redhorse Corp., a San Diego-based government contractor in the technology field. In that infamous scam, emails were sent to potential victims, asking for bank account info or advance payments, in exchange for a share of the prince’s fortune.
In the modern version, Redhorse team members have received emails, purportedly from Inmon, asking them to wire tens of thousands of dollars to an account in Shanghai, or to purchase Apple gift cards and provide the codes on the back of the cards. The money is supposed to be for a special project, and the employees are admonished to keep the payments secret.
So far, Inmon said, the scams have not been successful, but the company remains vigilant and has put in place robust cybersecurity measures.
Robin Gonzalez, chief technology strategist with Redhorse, said the company has conducted assessments of all of its systems, and has created a series of documents, including a system security plan, a cyberincident response plan, and a list of milestones and actions needed to keep its security measures up to date.
Every day, Gonzalez said, there are literally thousands of attempts to penetrate the company’s defenses, by actors from around the world. That’s why businesses need to maintain a high level of preparation and awareness of cyberthreats.
“It’s pretty much across the board. As long as you are connected to the internet, you are vulnerable,” Gonzalez said.