Antivirus developer Trend Micro is doing some damage control after an ex-employee stole customer data and sold it to online scammers. These scammers have been calling Trend Micro customers. If you use Trend Micro, it’s best to be wary of any calls you get.
An employee had access to data that they weren’t authorized to have. According to Trend Micro, they were able to “gain access to a customer support database that contained names, email addresses, Trend Micro support ticket numbers, and in some instances telephone numbers. There are no indications that any other information such as financial or credit payment information was involved…”
This employee, who remains unnamed, apparently had planned to steal data, and ended up being able to bypass the internal protections Trend Micro had in place.
Since the data had more than enough information for a scammer to use to trick a user into believing they were calling from Trend Micro (all it really takes is a name and phone number, and knowing that they use the product), this kind of data has a great deal of value to scammers. It gives them an easy way in to steal money from unsuspecting people under the guise of Trend Micro tech support.
This isn’t a new problem, and it definitely isn’t only a problem for Trend Micro customers. Fake tech support scammers have been around for years, often preying on older, less-technically-savvy users. They use scare tactics and feign urgency to get their victim to hand over credit card information or allow remote access to the PC.
More often than not, these calls will come in saying they are “Microsoft Windows Support” or some general computer support. If the scammer thinks they are targeting an individual at a business, they might say they are from the IT department.
It’s important to be wary and educate your employees so they know the proper channels for getting support requests handled.
As a business owner, you need to ask yourself who has a little too much access. Can all employees wander into folders on your network that contain personal or financial information?
An employee should only have access to the data that they need, although it’s also important to not make it too difficult for an employee to do their job. Establishing the policies for this can be tricky but setting up the permissions on your network just takes a little work with your IT provider.
Enforcing security policies, like controlling who has access to what data, requiring strong passwords, and setting up multi-factor authentication can go a long way in protecting your business and its customers from a rogue employee running off with data. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of damage control, in this case.
Need help? Our IT experts can work with you to lock down your data. Give us a call at 094 90 48200.
Seán is the Managing Director at Aniar IT Services and has been working in IT for over 20 years
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