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Homebuyers Lose Potential Home For Trusting Email

Virginia Lux| May 05 2017

| security



Email is not safe, yet so many businesses from healthcare to financial institutions use email as a method of moving sensitive data. Here is another example of what can go wrong. 

With each new security breach that occurs we think, “How much worse can these nefarious criminals get?” “How much more creative can they get?” We start to get desensitized to it. And then another story surfaces that makes the blood run cold because it’s so relatable.

This recent Krebs On Security article, “Blind Trust in Email Could Cost You Your Home,” describes how unsuspecting home buyers were duped of nearly $200,000 because they (quite naturally) put their trust in wire transfer instructions sent from the closing attorney’s law firm. The correspondence appeared valid and legitimate. But it wasn’t. As some point, the email of one of the parties involved had been hacked. In this case, the buyers got their life savings back, although it took many months and tense moments. But often the funds are gone forever. And this is not an isolated incident.

Control the Who and How of Data Transfers

The critical lesson here is that standard email is not secure, not matter how legitimate it looks or who the sender is. We are encouraged to call, to verify the information. But this isn’t scalable and business can’t come to a grinding halt—so much of it is conducted via sending files and emails. 

Using secure file transfer, such as MOVEit Transfer, companies can track, manage and ensure movement of sensitive information between partners, customers, users and systems.

With MOVEit Transfer and its MOVEit Ad Hoc capability, critical data is secured in transit and at rest with advanced security features and encryption (FIPS 140-2 validated AES-256 cryptography). Companies can enforce multi-level security policies while controlling the movement of sensitive files.

And MOVEit is easy to use. Recipients are sent an email notification the instant a MOVEit user sends them a file or a secure message. The email notification includes an embedded link to securely download files, an optional note from the sender and password requirements. This email message can be viewed in any email client or Webmail application. The person just clicks the embedded link to access the files. Recipients can also securely send files of any size back to the original sender.

In the Krebs article, if the law firm had MOVEit Transfer, it could have tracked the movement and status of every file—all of the time—as emails and wire transfer instructions were sent back and forth. The law firm, the bank and the home buyer would have been protected and not have to have gone through this stressful experience.

Topics: security

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Virginia Lux has over 20 years of experience in high-tech, for both startups and established technology companies. Through this journey, across analytics, mobile, networking, cloud and security, she has gained a unique perspective on how these domains all converge, which informs her writing. Her work for client brands appears in several blogs and bylines.

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