Safeguarding Your SMB or MSP Against Deepfake Cybercrime: Insights from Hong Kong

In today’s digital landscape, deepfake cybercrime presents a pressing threat demanding attention from SMBs and MSPs. The recent incident in Hong Kong unveils the concerning reality of this dangerous technology.

Understanding Deepfake Technology

Deepfakes, powered by AI algorithms, create convincing multimedia content, making individuals appear to say or do things they never did. These sophisticated manipulations often blend elements from various sources seamlessly, rendering them difficult to detect with the naked eye. For SMBs and MSPs, understanding the intricacies of deepfake technology is crucial in recognizing potential threats and developing effective defense strategies.

The Cybercrime in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, cybercriminals exploited deepfake tech to impersonate executives, leading to a $25 million fraud event. The level of sophistication exhibited in this attack highlights the evolving tactics of cybercriminals and their ability to circumvent traditional security measures. For smaller businesses and managed service providers, such incidents underscore the importance of adopting some of the protective measures outlined below in order to safeguard against deepfake cyber threats.

Implications for Cybersecurity

This incident underscores the need for a multifaceted cybersecurity approach as deepfakes bypass conventional security measures. While traditional antivirus software and firewalls play a crucial role in defending against known threats, they may not be sufficient in detecting and mitigating the risks posed by deepfake technology. SMBs and MSPs must adopt a holistic cybersecurity strategy that incorporates advanced threat detection techniques and ongoing monitoring to stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Mitigating the Risks of Deepfakes

  1. Employee Training: Educate staff on cyber literacy to identify and report suspicious activities. Train employees on deepfakes to help them potentially recognize the signs of deepfake manipulations. Encourage staff members who think they may have experienced a deepfake to report it to management. Never ever take action on a video you receive without verbally confirming the action with the actual person in question.
  2. Cybersecurity Policies: Implement robust policies to govern cybersecurity practices within your organization. Clear guidelines on data handling, access controls, and communication protocols can help prevent unauthorized access and mitigate the impact of deepfake attacks. Never change financial wiring instructions based upon a video or email received from the remote party. Always confirm verbally using known good contact methods such as a phone number on the company’s website, not the phone number in the suspicious email received.
  3. Phishing Simulations: Regularly test employees using positive phishing simulations like those available from These simulations help reinforce cybersecurity awareness and teach employees how to spot and avoid phishing attempts, including those involving deepfake content.
  4. Risk Assessment: Conduct a thorough risk assessment with an external (3rd party) vendor to identify vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity program. An objective evaluation of your organization’s cybersecurity posture can uncover potential weaknesses and guide strategic investments in security measures tailored to your specific needs. You have finite time and money to spend on your cybersecurity program’s development, a Risk Assessment helps you spend your time and money on the things that matter the most.
  5. Technical Protections: Deploy critical technical safeguards like Anti-SPAM filters, Anti-virus software, Firewalls, and multi-factor authentication paired with unique passwords stored in a password manager. These technical solutions form the foundation of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure, providing essential layers of defense against deepfake cybercrime and other malicious activities.


The Hong Kong deepfake cybercrime emphasizes the critical need for SMBs and MSPs to fortify their defenses against evolving cyber threats. By prioritizing employee training, robust policies, regular assessments, and technical protections, businesses can effectively mitigate the risks posed by deepfake technology and uphold the integrity of their digital operations. In today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape, proactive measures are essential to safeguarding against deepfake cybercrime and ensuring the continued security of your organization.

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