The Consumer Assistance Program of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office is hosting the Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Training, a free webinar about protecting your small business from data breaches, scams, and cyber-attacks. Representatives from the Vermont Attorney General’s Office will be joined by Microsoft on September 29th from 9:30-10:30 for a free virtual presentation on cybersecurity for small businesses.
This presentation will feature Vermont Assistant Attorney General Sarah L. J. Aceves from the Consumer Protection Division and will discuss the ways in which businesses can protect themselves from scams and respond to a data breach. Microsoft Suite users can stay on for an additional presentation by a Microsoft training expert, who will discuss the application of cybersecurity features within the platform. Vermont small businesses are invited to join us for this informative and interactive presentation.
Event: Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Training
Hosted by: Emily McDonnell, Small Business Advocate of the Vermont Consumer Assistance Program of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office
Presenters: Sarah L.J. Aceves, Vermont Assistant Attorney General Jessica Harrison, Microsoft Training Manager
Our office works to promote a private-public partnership to inform Vermont small businesses. Our goal is to give businesses the resources they need to comply with the expectations of commerce. Please understand our office is unable to provide legal advice and we do not endorse any specific business.
BURLINGTON – The Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is warning Vermont business owners, non-profits, and employees about an uptick in business imposter email scams. In the last two months, CAP has received five reports of business imposter email scams resulting in a total loss of $210,799. Scammers are impersonating employees or familiar business representatives’ emails and contacting company bookkeepers and office administrators asking them to change bank account information, direct deposit information, or asking them to write checks. By impersonating an employee’s email address or creating a fake personal email for the employee, scammers can steal money from businesses and steal paychecks from employees.
Vermont businesses and non-profits should always verify email addresses and speak directly with an employee or business representative in person or via phone when sending money or changing payment information. Oftentimes, scammers will use an email address that only slightly varies from an employee’s true email. Be wary of any email coming from outside your company’s domain. CAP urges business owners to educate their entire company on scams that target businesses.
Here are ways in which businesses and non-profits can better protect themselves and their employees from scams:
Cybersecurity assessment: check internal controls and resolve vulnerabilities.
Train staff regularly in cybersecurity and funds management protocols.
Enlist internal protocols to verify the transfer of funds by engaging multiple staff members and voice verification, using trusted contact information.
Help clientele identify common scams within the industry.
TheSLOW method can serve as a helpful starting point, encouraging parties to take their time during urgent transactions and connect with a trusted party like CAP.