Be extra careful about cyber frauds during festive season: Proofpoint warns

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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US-based cybersecurity company, Proofpoint stated that the online purchasers in the UAE need to be extra careful about email hoax that may happen during the annual Cyber Monday, Yellow Friday and Black Friday sales.

The company says that the customers are at risk of falling victim to email fraud as 85 percent of the top 20 online retailers in the Emirates are not actively blocking malicious emails from reaching their clients, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Emile Abou Saleh
Regional Director Proofpoint – MEA

“Retailers should prioritise protecting themselves and their customers by implementing simple, yet effective email authentication best practices. Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers must remain vigilant and check the validity of all emails especially at a time when their attention is more likely to be focused on grabbing the best deals.”

Proofpoint found that the domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) records in the UAE have not been released by almost 65 percent of online retailers.

DMARC enables retailers to create a record of registered people who can send their official domain emails. This will helps to avoid a business name from being misused in phishing campaigns.

Mr. Saleh said, “With greater numbers of people now online, organizations in all sectors should deploy authentication protocols, such as DMARC, to bolster their email fraud defenses and protect customers and businesses.”

Cybercriminals routinely use the technique of domain spoofing to pretend to be famous brands by sending an email from a seemingly valid address. Such emails are meant to fool individuals into clicking on links or sharing personal data that can then be used to steal money or identities from the victims.

Only 15 percent of the UAE’s leading shoppers have implemented strict and advised DMRC protection, which actively prevents fake emails from reaching their targets, said Proofpoint, which examined the primary corporate domains of the top 20 online retailers in the UAE.

The consumers from the Middle East region also shifted to online shopping while the eCommerce sector has risen as a result of the pandemic situation compared to the previous year.

Online shopping traffic is expected to spike to an annual peak during the upcoming Black Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30) sales.