Cork cybersecurity firm 'absolutely swamped' by online fraud attempts

Cork cybersecurity firm 'absolutely swamped' by online fraud attempts
Director of Strategy Raluca Saceanu, and Smarttech247 CEO Ronan Murphy.

A Cork cybersecurity company is “absolutely swamped” with work combating online fraud since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to The Echo, Smarttech247 chief executive Ronan Murphy said they are seeing a major increase in email fraud and phishing campaigns that clients are being exposed to.

Mr Murphy said any notable global incident is “like gold dust to cybercriminals” due to the panic they cause. 

The cybersecurity expert said the global pandemic has introduced a whole new scale of disruption.

“Obviously, with Covid-19 it is unique, what it has done is, it has completely changed and disrupted the global workforce, meaning that organisations have had to completely change the way they allow users to access their systems, access collaboration tools, the devices they work off, VPNs, and that is presenting such low hanging fruit to criminals and the volume and escalation of hacks have just gone through the ceiling.” 

Mr Murphy said there has been a major increase in the types of email fraud and phishing campaigns.

“These are very clever and designed to exploit the users and steal their login credentials to the corporate network. 

"These phishing emails are specifically designed around the current news cycle. 

"We have had to very closely work with customers to ensure we help them understand who is accessing what systems and data.” 

As well as corporate fraud, Mr Murphy said his company has also seen an increase in fraudulent Covid-19 related websites appearing online.

“They are purporting to sell goods including protective masks and hand sanitiser, but are in fact vehicles of fraud.” 

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