Targeted cybercrime is committed using information found within your online footprint. Your “online footprint” or “digital footprint” is a buzzword for how much information there is about you on the Internet.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, corporate website, blogs and forums are just a few areas that make up your online footprint.

Highly organised criminals are responsible for successful spear phishing campaigns and the attacks are on the rise and becoming more effective. Very little technical ability is required to pull off an attack; just good social skills.

If someone looks up the directory on your company website or browse through LinkedIn, looking at the employees. The criminal will find someone in a position of benefit to them, if that person is you they will use your online footprint to build a strategy.

Scanning through your online patterns, they will look where you go for lunch, who you report to, who reports to you, what your job entails, who your suppliers are and which customers you look after. After the criminal has looked through they decide how to best perform their operation.

The criminal(s) will focus on you or your department and they will use sophisticated, personalised information. They will aim to gain your trust in a carefully crafted email or message to you on social media.

Their goal varies but they could be trying to trick you into transferring a balance somewhere or hand over some credit card details. Alternatively, they may want you to introduce malware into a company system to hold files to ransom or leak sensitive corporate data.

Being aware of your online footprint and being mindful of the risks is your best defence. Few areas to consider would be:

  • Using privacy options where possible
  • Close or deleted old accounts for services that you no longer use
  • Where possible use an alias or nickname for forums and other public places online
  • Don’t share information such as corporate infrastructure
  • Be careful what information is published in press releases

If you can shrink your online footprint, then you effectively reduce your personal and business attack surface area. The smaller the surface area, the less chance there is of a spear landing on target.

If you would like assistance with determining what your online footprint consists of or would like help with your security strategy, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.