How To Safeguard Your Organization Against QR-Based Cyberattacks

By Daniella Balaban
image December 14, 2023 image 3 MIN READ

As technology advances, so do the tactics employed by cybercriminals. One emerging threat that demands our attention is the rise of QR code phishing attacks. These attacks exploit the widespread use of QR codes in various aspects of our digital lives, posing a serious risk to organizations and individuals alike. In response to this growing menace, CybeReady has introduced cutting-edge QR-based phishing simulations to fortify your defenses against this evolving threat landscape.

Understanding the QR Code Phishing Landscape

QR codes have become an integral part of our daily routines, from scanning restaurant menus to accessing websites and authenticating payments. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have capitalized on their ubiquity to disguise harmful links and deceive unsuspecting users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued warnings about scammers hiding harmful links in QR codes, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and proactive measures.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Advice underscores the pervasive nature of QR codes in our daily lives, emphasizing their prevalence in various activities, from accessing menus and making payments to attending events and boarding flights. While QR codes offer unparalleled convenience, the FTC warns of the growing threat posed by scammers who exploit these codes to steal personal information. As reported, scammers employ cunning tactics such as covering QR codes on parking meters with their deceptive codes or sending QR codes via text or email with fabricated reasons to prompt users to scan them.

The deceptive methods employed by scammers include falsely claiming failed package deliveries, account issues requiring confirmation of information, alleging suspicious activities on user accounts, and demanding password changes. These tactics aim to create a sense of urgency, manipulating users into scanning QR codes without due consideration.

The consequences of falling victim to these scams can be severe. Scammers may redirect users to spoofed websites that mimic legitimate ones, aiming to capture sensitive information during login attempts. Alternatively, the malicious QR codes could install malware, silently stealing information before users become aware of the breach.

To protect against QR-based cyber threats, the FTC provides practical advice:

In the face of the evolving tactics employed by scammers, it is imperative to stay vigilant and adopt proactive measures. By adhering to these guidelines and incorporating them into your organization’s cybersecurity training, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with QR code phishing attacks. CybeReady’s innovative QR-based phishing simulations, as outlined in the earlier sections, provide a valuable tool for organizations seeking to educate their employees and fortify their defenses against these emerging threats.

Safeguarding Your Organization Against QR-Based Cyberattacks: CybeReady's Innovative Approach

CybeReady’s QR Code Simulations

To address the escalating risks posed by QR-based cyberattacks, CybeReady has incorporated QR code simulations into its comprehensive phishing awareness training program. Instead of conventional links, employees encounter QR codes during simulated phishing exercises. When scanned, these QR codes redirect users to an educational page, empowering them to recognize and respond to potential threats.

Key Features of CybeReady’s QR Code Simulations

Automated Learning Cycles: CybeReady’s QR simulations seamlessly integrate into future learning cycles. This automation eliminates manual intervention, ensuring employees consistently encounter and learn to identify QR-based phishing threats over time.

Educational Content: The redirected pages provide valuable information on identifying suspicious signs in QR-based attacks. Employees gain insights into the tactics used by cybercriminals, enabling them to make informed decisions when interacting with QR codes in their professional and personal lives.

Awareness Bite about QR Codes: In addition to simulations, CybeReady has developed a dedicated Awareness Bite focused on QR codes. This resource is easily accessible under the Mobile Phone Security Category, offering concise yet impactful guidance on staying vigilant against QR-based threats.

Staying Informed: FTC Consumer Alerts

To deepen your understanding of the risks associated with QR codes, we recommend reading the FTC’s Consumer Alert. The alert provides valuable insights into how scammers exploit QR codes to steal sensitive information, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant in today’s digital landscape.

Conclusion

As QR code phishing attacks continue to evolve, organizations must adopt proactive measures to fortify their cybersecurity defenses. CybeReady’s innovative QR-based phishing simulations and educational resources empower employees to recognize and thwart these threats effectively. By integrating these tools into your cybersecurity training program, you can create a resilient workforce capable of navigating the digital landscape with confidence and awareness.

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