Digital tech crime in the spotlight: Interesting tricks used by card fraud criminals

At the end of 2017 the statistics on card fraud were made available to the public and how interesting they were. A quick review of the stats provided by SABRIC (South African Banking Risk Information Centre) shows that over the course of 2017, credit card fraud increased by 1% while debit card fraud actually decreased by 8.5%!

Why did debit card fraud decrease so much?

According to Kalyani Pillay, the CEO of SABRIC, debit card fraud events took a steep decline as a result of fewer lost and stolen cards. There were also fewer counterfeit cards on the market.

This doesn’t mean that fraud isn’t happening, it’s just that criminals have adjusted their tactics in order to take advantage of innovations in the banking landscape.

Here are the latest fraudsters’ tricks

SABRIC released a list of 7 of the latest tricks used by card fraudsters in South Africa at the moment.

#1. Lost and stolen card fraud
The easiest way for criminals to acquire cards is when they interfere with the physical transaction process. This usually happens at the ATM by opportunistic criminals offering to help people, or devising a way to acquire the card PIN. Cash is then drawn from the card at various machines until the daily limit is reached.

#2. Issued card not received fraud
This is when the criminal collects or intercepts a card before it is delivered to the right person. While most banks ensure that cards are delivered by courier direct to the client’s home, or that the customer personally collects the cars from their branch, some cards are sent by mail. These credit cards, loan cards, clothing and merchandise account cards and similar are then collected by the criminal.

#3. Card falsely applied for fraud
Here, the criminal gathers information on an individual and applies for credit and cards in their name, with their details. The card is then issued and used, racking up a bill which must then be paid for by the innocent party.

#4. Counterfeit card fraud
Criminals with the right equipment and software can steal information from the magnetic strip of an existing card. The information can then be used to create a false card. This is often called “card skimming” and can be done at ATMs.

#5. Speedpoint card skimming fraud
This is when criminals steal legitimate Point of Sale (POS) devices from merchants and then convert them into card skimming machines. This usually goes unnoticed as speed point machines can be replaced with similar machines that don’t belong to the actual company.

#6. Replacement card fraud
Again, theft of personal information plays a role in this type of card fraud. Criminals gather all the relevant information on an individual and then apply for a replacement card which is then handed over to them, ready to use and abuse.

#7. Card not present fraud (CNP transactions)
Certain transactions such as online purchases or mobile purchases don’t require a physical card at the point of purchase. Data breaches, phishing, and malware can be used to gather card information from various sources. This information is then used to complete online and mobile purchases and transfers.

Always make sure that your personal information is protected and that your data is securely backed up to the cloud. If you are looking for peace of mind and a secure backup option, check out the online backup system features at www.SumoBackup.co.za

Effective Operating In The Cloud Still Requires Data Management Skills

It comes as no real surprise that Big Data Quarterly recently stated that cloud computing is changing the way businesses manage data environments today. In fact, cloud computing has become the number one solution for most businesses looking for an efficient way to manage their data, but what of data management skills?

The cloud computing revolution has been swift and many of those serving in the IT field are finding that their specialised services are no longer a necessity for businesses as cloud computing is relatively quick and easy for the average person to set up. However, all is not lost for those with specific skills.

Cloud Computing Offers Business Owners A Quick & Easy Data Solution
In the recent past, specialists in the IT field were generally needed to set up networks, ensure core systems are operational, keep backup servers secure, incorporate storage access networks and more. It goes without saying that skills and technical knowledge were required for any business hoping for a truly efficient and secure IT system.

All of this has changed though as cloud computing has eliminated the need for an extensive technical IT team to assist with most of these functions. Most online backup systems and cloud computing systems are designed to do it all for the user.

What business owners and the public really want to know is what sort of skills are still needed to run a cloud computing system and what does this change essentially mean for existing IT and IS administrators.
Wait, Some Skills Are Required!
While many businesses think that the user-friendly interface of cloud computing systems means that no IT experts or skills in the field are required, that’s simply not the case.
Don’t be misled into thinking that the click-and-go ease of cloud computing means that you can do it all yourself. There are skills required to ensure that the cloud system remains fast, efficient and highly functional – long term.

IT skills are needed in fields such as planning, cloud migration that’s secure and efficient, automation, and data governance in accordance with the PoPI Act (Protection of Personal Information Act). This means that administrators may still be required, but they will be tasked with designing systems for specific outcomes instead of doing all of the legwork along the way.

The Skills Your Cloud Computing Administrator Should Have
An effective cloud computing administrator must be able to design systems that are beneficial to your business and its needs. The administrator must be able to manage and move data while being able to monitor, manage and control systems to ensure that the budget is not exceeded.

In addition to this, administrators must help the business to avoid potential risks and ensure the security of data at all times by implementing a secure data governance process that’s customised to the needs of your specific business. The administrator must also be able to recognise any data gaps and ensure platforms and technologies are implemented to fill those gaps while still complementing the cloud systems capabilities.
The Value of Cloud Computing For The IT Administrator
Cloud computing certainly makes things more interesting for IT administrators.

There’s no denying that there’s not much to get excited about zone changes, server builds, virtual machine moving, and data backup monitoring. Cloud computing however changes all these administrative tasks and provides a more design-focused task for the administrator.
The main task of the cloud computing administrator is to understand the business and what it’s data requirements are. They can then design systems to cater to these. In many ways, an IT administrator working in a cloud computing environment is a data scientist.

Are you thinking of switching to cloud computing? We highly recommend it. Let us know if we can help you with your data migration and backup in any way. We would love to hear more about your plans.

Safeguarding Your Data from Ransomware In the Cloud

2016 seemed to be the year of ransomware and you would think that by now businesses would have it under control and be able to safeguard themselves, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

It may come as a surprise, but ransomware is not really new, it’s probably just never been this bad. It’s believed to have been around for more than 10 years already! Back in 2014, 3.2 million cases of ransomware were reported. These numbers are particularly surprising, as we know that many people don’t report cyber-crime, so the figures are probably considerably worse!

What’s ransomware?

Similar to the kidnapping and ransom request of humans, ransomware is a nasty little way for hackers to steal your data and then force you to pay them to return it.

It’s usually activated by means of phishing. You receive an enticing email, click on it or open an attachment and your system is contaminated with software that’s used to encrypt all the data on the computer. When you try to access your files, the computer will present a notice demanding payment in bitcoins in order to gain access to your data. It’s frustrating and there’s little to be done to reverse it once it’s happened, unless you pay the ransom (but then there’s also no guarantee that you will get anything back either).

There’s no magic cure to avoiding a ransomware attack, but one can ensure that everything is done to limit the consequences of such an occurrence.

Protect your data

In choosing to back up your data and systems your business can’t be held to ransom if your network is breached. However, your back up strategy needs to extend beyond simply keeping a copy of your data on your computer. The best solution is to rely on the cloud for storing your data.

Why is cloud storage the answer?

Cloud systems are equipped to detect, deter and destroy ransomware attacks before the criminals are able to enter the network and gain control of data. With cloud computing, you have more visibility of the potential risks and threats faced.

Cloud back up is a fail proof way of ensuring that you don’t have to pay ransoms and worry about losing data. If your system is hacked, you have a backup safe and secure in the cloud and better yet, it’s all encrypted in cloud so pesky hackers can’t do anything with it, even if they tried.

Simply signing up for cloud storage is not enough to protect your data from ransomware. Your IT team will need to do a bit more to ensure security and take full advantage of the security features offered by the cloud. Here’s a taste of what that “bit” more includes:

  • Ensure that all advanced cloud security features are understood, activated and working correctly at all times
  • Take advantage of cloud services’ disaster recovery capabilities
  • Educate all of your network users on the risks and threats and how to conduct themselves in a responsible and secure manner when making use of systems and networks.

It’s not really a case of IF ransomware will affect your business. It’s more a case of when. Make sure that you’re safeguarded against its potentially devastating effects by backing up to the cloud. Find out more about cloud backup features today. Get in touch with us at RMD Technology

How Latest Technology is Being Used for Good – Saving the Rhino

It’s no secret that the Rhino has suffered at the hands of hard, unfeeling criminals for their horns and never more so than in the last year or two! As a result, Rhino numbers are decreasing rapidly and there’s a serious risk of extinction in the near future if nothing major is done.

While the future has seemed bleak for the Rhino, two companies have recently been involved in putting some of the world’s most advanced technology to good use: saving the Rhino.

Connected Conservation Technology

Thus far, communication has been the main downfall of rhino protection efforts. Parks and farms are remote, with limited infrastructure for communication systems. That’s all about to change though with the new technology enabling better communication.

The technology is currently being tested in a reserve that borders on the Kruger National Park, with great and measurable success

It’s a win for South Africa and the rhino!

The technology is impressive in that it doesn’t involve installing sensors and tags on the rhino. Instead, it’s designed to track the movement of people, allowing the rhinos to go about their business, undisturbed.

The equipment and technology is used to detect people before they make contact with the rhino. It does so via means of an intricate set up involving:

  • a secured area network
  • CCTV and biometric scanning
  • Wi-Fi and LAN stationed at all entrances
  • LORA technology
  • sensors installed on the periphery of the reserve
  • thermal imaging
  • access to a national data base
  • connection to multiple devices and shared data
  • automatic backup features
  • threat alerts
  • predictive modelling
  • access to a helicopter response team.

Of course the system is and must be secure, encrypted and protected against third party access.

The companies involved in the development and implementation of the technology and system hope to replicate it in many, if not all of the parks in SA. They also believe that it could be used to protect other endangered species including the likes of elephant, pangolin, tigers and sea rays.

Have you heard any positive stories on how technology is helping nature and people? We would love for you to share your stories of technological success with us.

How Cloud Computing is Improving Healthcare in Remote Populations

It’s no secret that technology plays a huge role in the healthcare industry. In fact, it’s helped with diagnosing and treating illnesses and diseases.

One area that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves in the medical industry is just how much good cloud computing has brought about for the poorer or more remote communities. With cloud technology, healthcare providers have been able to bring essential medical care to some of the world’s most remote populations.

Remote ‘cloud-caring’

In India for example, where a vast majority of the population live in remote and rural areas, it’s safe to say that healthcare access isn’t something easily accessible to these communities. Times, however, are changing as industry professionals work hard to create cloud-based equipment to store and share diagnostic information, making diagnosis and telemedicine antidotes possible. Essentially, this means that healthcare technicians, almost 8 000 of them to date, are able to work as proctors to serve those suffering in the villages more effectively. Of course, the true value of such systems must and should also be realised for Africa.

This medical program is based on the concept of data sharing. By sharing data instantly in the cloud, nurses, technicians and health care professionals have access to a reliable diagnostic system that makes it possible to provide medical treatment and advice in remote areas.

Taking a look at ReMeDi – a cloud based healthcare program

In many instances, it’s impossible for doctors and healthcare professionals to make themselves immediately and physically available to patients in outlying areas. This particular cloud based system is designed to bridge the gap between these patients and doctors.

How? The cloud based program provides a video and audio system that allows patients and doctors to consult in real time and virtually, enabling the healthcare proctor to input the patient’s vitals which are then shared with the offsite physician. In this way, the Doctor can prescribe both a treatment plan and the necessary medicines.

Cloud based healthcare saves hours of travel at great expense, and can save lives too, and industry professionals are seeing this breakthrough in cloud computing based medical programs and systems, as an innovative solution to a burgeoning problem.

We think that this is just the tip of the iceberg for all of the benefits that cloud computing will bring to not only the medical industry, but every facet of our lives. If you want to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing chat to us at RMD Technology – we would love to assist.

Do you Autofill or Auto Fill? Beware of Becoming a Victim of your Personal Details

Are you, like most of us, guilty of taking the short cut and using autofill to complete online forms? Well perhaps it’s time to think again and go back to the good old days of automatically filling out your details field by field!

Signing in and out of apps, into programs and online systems, while trying to recall (or look up) the respective passwords and user name logins, seems to be all a part of our daily ritual. Consequently, and in an effort to save time, you have probably experienced the convenience of autofill, especially when you are not in the mood to fill out lengthy forms and applications online. According to web developer Viljami Kuosmanen, this could be detrimental to your personal information security.

How does autofill work?

The autofill feature is completely predictive. Once you begin to fill out your details and personal information within an online form, or login page, the autofill prompt will ask if you want your information to be “autofilled”. The feature will then complete a number of hidden fields for you. This can include details that you should keep highly confidential, such as your residential address, credit card particulars, cell phone number, ID number and more.

Of course, it works differently in each browser. For instance, in Chrome all you have to do is click once and the entire form can be filled in for you. With Safari, it’s a little different in that it will advise you on the information that will be filled in, including hidden fields. Firefox is the only browser of these three that will not submit hidden fields when filling in forms.

What’s the risk?

Phishing is the real risk when it comes to autofill. In fact, we call it autophishing. At this point you might be wondering where the risk is, inadvertently secure in the knowledge that that no-one else has access to your computer and therefore no way to get into your saved autofill features. However, phishing is not only about someone having direct access to your computer. The moment you allow the autofill feature to work on a website you are putting your personal information into cyberspace, and with little knowledge of the type of security that the website offers, you are putting your personal details at risk.

Can you avoid being a victim? Absolutely! If you aren’t familiar with the website and company, make sure that you disable the autofill feature in your browser. A simple solution to a potential problem that could complicate your life. Keeping yourself safe and secure online is essential in this day and age.

Need more information and advice on protecting yourself while using the internet? Feel free to chat to us at any time.

Studies Show that Younger Online Users are Prone to Clicking on Malicious Pop-ups

Towards the end of October 2016 Microsoft released some interesting study findings which uncovered that online users, between the ages of 18 to 34, were more likely to click on potentially malicious pop ups than online users who are more mature (35 years and older).

The Study

The survey targeted online users located in over 12 countries with South Africa being one of them. 12 000 people were surveyed with the youngest participant being 18 years and the oldest over 65 years.

Here’s what the study uncovered in the various age groups:

  • 18-24 years – over 13% had been scammed online at some point and had lost money due to an online or telephone scam.
  • 25-34 years – over 18% had been scammed online and lost money as a result of a scam.
  • 35-44 years – around 11% of participants had been a victim of an online scam and lost money as a result.
  • 66-year age bracket – only around 3% of those surveyed had been scammed online and lost money.

The statistics also showed that more than 50% of the participants had at one point or another, encountered an online popup that was fraudulent or obviously, a scam. Interestingly enough, the older participants in the 65-year age group weren’t found to be clicking on malicious pop-ups, but 44% of them had been scammed out of money telephonically!

How did the survey reflect on South Africans?

It would appear from the study that South African participants downright ignore scammers, which seems to be positively reflected in the stats as only 8% of all the South Africans in the study had actually been scammed online and lost money.

While the survey shows that younger people are more prone to being caught out by online scams, it also shows that fraud and scamming can present itself in many forms, and that absolutely everyone is at risk and should take precautions.

Be ‘scam wise’ and keep yourself educated on the latest online scamming incidents by following our blog where we keep you up to date with all the trending technology news and most recent scams.

Best Apps to Start off 2017

2017 could very well be the year of apps with so many new ones making their way to the market. At RMD Technology we like to keep up to date with all the latest trends in the digital space, and especially apps that focus on security. In this way we keep ourselves informed of this ever changing industry and the changes we need to make in order to adapt our own security accordingly, while keeping our customers primed as well.

Below are just a few of the many apps that will serve you well in 2017, both in business and in your personal capacity too:

1Password – this app is perfect for helping you sort out your security issues, especially if you’re using an Android device. It’s free to download and is designed to generate strong passwords that can be used online. The app stores passwords securely for the user. All of the passwords can be accessed via the app by using just one password. It makes thing simple!

Streaks – this app will cost you, but it’s well worth it. A 2016 Apple Design Awards Winner, this app is designed to help you store 6 tasks to be completed daily. The app requires you to “check off” tasks as you complete them. It’s great for ensuring that you don’t forget important tasks and that you keep working towards goals. What sort of tasks should you set? Why not set reminders for doing your online backups, checking security systems and features at work, and so on.

Gluru – this app is more of a predictive taskmaster and is a free download to an Android device. While still in its infancy, the app is able to use AI to predict tasks and projects that you need to do next. This one is interesting as it perfectly demonstrates how systems and programs can dig into your emails and apps to gather information. It would be fun to try out, but make sure that your personal information is kept safe and secure at the same time.

Breakfree – and just when you are wondering how many more apps you can possibly find to download, we find one that might just tell you to break free from your apps and your mobile device for a while! Do you have any idea how many hours you spend on your phone, a few of which could be better spent in a more constructive way? BreakFree will monitor your usage, allowing you to track your digital habits while also providing tools that enable you to schedule downtime when you can quite literally, cut loose.

We probably don’t need to tell you, but one of the most important applications you can make this year is to apply yourself to ensuring that you are secure and up to date with your online backup – and we can offer you that.

Our online backup system can cater to your computers and all devices connected to your network. You can check out the features of our backup services with encryption, for added safety, to see just how our services can benefit you and your business this year.

Secure Yourself and your Business from Security Risks Set to Capture 2017 by Storm

Without a shadow of any doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) has more than ‘connected’ us, and indisputably more than many of us ever thought possible. It has also brought a myriad of risks into our midst too.

All things considered, it’s quite a scary concept that with smart home technology you can use the IoT to control just about anything from turning on your oven to controlling your air conditioning system, from just about anywhere. At risk of repeating ourselves though, one of the biggest threats in the advancement of these technologies is that of your privacy.

Currently there are approximately 6.4 million IoT connected devices and by 2021, that figure is expected to jump up to over 20 million. The stats are astounding and it makes one realise that every time you use a connected electronic device, there are risks you should be aware of and ready for.

Some of the biggest security risks to be aware of this year include:

Ransomware – this is a program that cyber criminals can buy on the dark web. It’s used to hold people’s personal information ransom. How do you know if you have been a victim of ransomware? You might open your images or another document / file on your computer only to find that they are “corrupt” or missing. You will then receive a warning advising you to pay a ransom in order to have the information returned. Ransomware attacks have increased over 600% in the last year, so it goes without saying that it’s something that you need to protect yourself against.

Internet enabled toys – nearly all modern toys can connect to a network in some way or another. Children and parent’s information and privacy are at risk with these types of toys, which are hard to secure. In some instances, even the webcam on laptops and computers have been used to record information and conversations.

Unencrypted data stored in the cloud – if you are going to make use of cloud services, make sure that the data you stored will actually be encrypted. Unencrypted data is data that’s begging to be hacked. At RMD Technology we ensure that all of your data stored with us is encrypted, for your piece of mind.

Phishing – one would think that with phishing raising its head several years ago already, that people would be wiser to phishing attacks. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. People still click on links that they are unsure of and soon their system and personal data is at risk.

While these are the top risks that we believe you need to be aware of in 2017, they certainly aren’t the only ones. For more security tips and advice and to learn more about our online encrypted data backup services, contact us or check out our packages today.

Do You Know Your Malware from Your Spyware?

When you hear the words malware, adware and spyware, do you understand their meaning? Is a Trojan horse something you associate with Greek history or the modern-day world?
These are all potential threats and unfortunately for us, they are only getting more advanced. Fear not – look at the definitions below and learn a bit more about the meaning of these threats:
• Malware – A buzz word for intrusive software, including computer viruses, Trojan horses and adware.
• Adware – Software that automatically downloads or displays advertising banners or pop ups when you are online.
• Spyware – Software that enables you to obtain information about another computer’s activities by transmitting data using their hard drive.
• Viruses – Small programs or scripts that can negatively affect the health of your computer. These malicious programs can create files, move files, erase files, consume your computer’s memory and cause your computer not to function correctly.
• Worms – A type of virus that replicates itself, but does not alter any files on your machine. However, worms can still create chaos by multiplying so many times that they take up all your computer’s available memory or hard disk space. If a worm consumes your memory, your computer will run very slowly and possibly even crash.
• Trojan Horses –Software programs that look like regular programs, such as games and even antivirus programs. Once they are run, these programs can do malicious things to your computer.

Here are some useful tips to help you and your staff stay safe:

• Have up to date antivirus software installed on your systems. Without this, you could be in trouble.
• Install security patches. Patching helps to protect your devices and has become extremely important as part of the updating process.
• Be careful with any software you install. Contact your IT provider if you are unsure.
• Delete any unknown emails. Never download or open attachments unless you are sure it’s from someone you know. If you receive emails from random people, do not open them.
• Avoid clicking on ads. Especially ads where something is bright and colourful, with the possibility that you can win a prize! Ads have become more sophisticated and interactive so that you’ll be tempted to play it like a game

If you have any questions about your IT Security contact RMD Technology’s
helpful team on +27 11 026 3115 or email us on support@rmdtechnology.co.za if you would like any advice on your current IT. We are always happy to help!