LinkedIn Once a Safe Platform for Professionals is Now the Number One Target of Cybercriminals

Lisa Goth Cyber

Employees are considered the weakest link in the business cybersecurity chain and cybercriminals know this. LinkedIn is the largest and most popular social platform catering to professionals and is now fertile ground for cybercriminals to ensnare company representatives to gain work-related information or infect their devices with malware. Sophisticated attacks include fake job offers, fake e-mail notifications from LinkedIn, and requests to connect from fake profiles. The engagement then leads to compromised accounts and cybercriminals becoming privy to sensitive data.

LinkedIn started tackling fake profiles in late 2021 by removing over 16 million fake accounts and had implemented new security features in October of 2022 to combat false profiles and threat actors.  However, with enhanced innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) becoming widely used and cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated in their methods, no one is totally protected on LinkedIn or any other platform.

Online scams, cyberattacks and phishing expeditions are constantly happening, and if you are a small to medium sized business, you are a more vulnerable target.  According to a March 2022 Barracuda report, small businesses are three times more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals than larger companies. The report goes on to reveal that an average employee of a small business with less than 100 employees will receive 350% more social engineering attacks than an employee of a larger enterprise.  These attacks include phishing / social engineering (57%), compromised / stolen devices (33%), and credential theft (30%). Once a company discovers a breach, which is an average of 197 days from the incident, and the typical 69 days to contain the threat, a lot of damage has occurred.

Your company’s data breach has many costs:  lost data, business disruption, revenue losses from system downtime, notification costs, brand reputation. Your business will suffer financial losses, loss of productivity, reputational damage, legal liability, business continuity problems. Can you survive a cyberattack?

Your business can prevent LinkedIn cybersecurity scams. The key is to educate your employees about the threats that exist and how to recognize them. Instill in them the importance of vigilance.

  • Phishing scams use fake e-mails, text messages or websites to trick employees into sharing sensitive information or clicking on a link that installs malware.  Encourage your employees not to open an e-mail from an individual or company they are not familiar with, and to double check known e-mail addresses to ensure it matches what you have in your files. A simple .com replaced by a .net is all it takes.
  • Ransomware encrypts files. Regularly back up your data and use strong passwords (at least 8 characters, small and capital letters, numbers, and a special character).
  • Malware can damage or disable your computer. Consistently updating antivirus software and firewalls can help in preventing this type of attack.
  • Business email compromise (BEC) scams are fake e-mails or texts that appear to come from a high-ranking officer to trick your employee into surrendering sensitive information or perhaps money.
  • Password attacks can be avoided if your employees use strong passwords with a two-factor authentication.

In the case of an accidental misstep by your employee, Cyber Liability Insurance can ensure your business will not be irreparably damaged. The professionals at Charles Leach provide this specialized coverage for business owners as peace of mind in the event of a cyberattack. Contact us today at 814-275-3224.