Phishing attacks and business email compromise scams are leading causes of losses to cybercrime and attacks have increased in 2024. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, phishing is the leading cause of complaints to its Internet Crime Complaint Center and business email compromise currently ranks second out of all tracked forms of cybercrime in terms of total losses.

Over the coming days and weeks, there are several events that cybercriminals take advantage of in their attacks and scams. The UEFA European Football Championship is currently taking place in Germany and thousands of individual phishing campaigns have been detected so far that are piggybacking on the popularity of the championship in Europe and beyond.

Cybercriminals often take advantage of sporting events and commonly use lures related to tickets, which usually sell out months before the first football is kicked and this year is no exception. Now that the tournament is underway and broadcasters and other legitimate entities are running competitions offering free tickets to the finals, scammers are doing the same and are using email and social media networks to advertise their scams. These campaigns use realistic websites that are almost identical to the brands they spoof and attempt to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers and login credentials.

Many of the phishing attacks and scams impersonate businesses associated with the tournament. These include accommodation providers, airlines and travel companies, and others. The Wimbledon tennis tournament is underway, which will be shortly followed by another major sporting event in Paris – The 2024 Olympics. The latter has a huge global audience and there is a high risk of cyber threat activity using Olympics-themed lures. Cybercriminals are impersonating event organizations, sponsors, ticketing systems, and travel companies. Many cyber espionage groups and nation-state actors are likely to target the Olympics, in addition to financially motivated threat actors.

This week, there is a major celebration in the United States on July 4. Independence Day is a very active time for a host of malicious actors who conduct scams related to the celebrations, including holiday-themed texts and emails, fake giveaways and vouchers, and Independence Day event ticket scams. Being a major holiday in the United States when staffing levels are greatly reduced, it is a time when many ransomware groups choose to strike as their activities are less likely to be identified.

Also on July 4, 2024, a major event is taking place across the Atlantic in the UK. The UK general election will be taking place to decide the next government and scammers are already taking advantage and are using deepfake scams and malicious websites used to steal information and influence voters. It will be a similar story in the United States in the run-up to the November Presidential election.

With so many events taking place, it is vital for everyone to be on their guard and be constantly alert to the threat of scams, phishing, and malware attacks. Due to the elevated threat from phishing, businesses should step up their security awareness training to raise awareness of cyber threats and teach cybersecurity best practices. It is a good idea to use these events in your internal phishing simulations to identify any knowledge gaps and provide immediate training to any individual who fails a phishing simulation.

Security awareness training is made simple with SafeTitan from TitanHQ. SafeTitan is a comprehensive security awareness training platform that teaches security best practices to eradicate risky behaviors, raises awareness of the threat from phishing and malware, teaches the red flags to look for in emails and texts, and what to do if a potential threat is found. The phishing simulator can be used to automate internal phishing simulations to test awareness of threats and how employees are applying their training.

It is also a good time for businesses to bolster email security with an advanced email security solution. SpamTitan from TitanHQ is an advanced email security solution that uses predictive techniques to identify malicious emails, including AI and machine learning to block phishing threats and email sandboxing to block malware. SpamTitan integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and is consistently rated as one of the best spam filters for Outlook, improving the native defenses that Microsoft offers. TitanHQ also offers a host of cybersecurity solutions for managed services providers, including advanced phishing protection, to help them better protect their clients.

If you want to improve protection this summer against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and scams, give the TitanHQ team a call to find out more about improving your security posture.