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Swatting refers to a harassment technique most often perpetrated by members of the online gaming community. Swatting entails generating an emergency law enforcement response against a target victim under false pretenses. Swatters do this by making phone calls to emergency lines like 911 and falsely reporting a violent emergency situation, such as a shooting, bomb threat, or hostage situation.
Swatters often consider what they are doing to be a prank, but it can come with serious consequences. Swatting occupies law enforcement response teams, making them unavailable to respond to real emergencies. There have even been swatting incidents where law enforcement officers were shot, and in one case the victim of the swatting was shot dead by law enforcement.
In recent years, the US has tried to prevent swatters by imposing serious penalties for the perpetrators, but swatting continues to be an issue. Swatting is often hard for law enforcement to address since many swatters use sophisticated techniques to hide their identity. Swatters disguise themselves using techniques like caller ID spoofing, where they utilize software to make it appear as though they are a local caller when they could be anywhere in the world.
What does this mean for an SMB or MSP?
While everyone should be careful to maintain their online privacy, online gamers should take extra care to ensure they won’t be victims of swatting. Gamers should avoid revealing information about their identity or location on in-game chat channels or gaming forums. They should also avoid using screen names that would make it easy for strangers to identify them. Gamers can take further precautions and hide their IP address using a service like a VPN, this will ensure that a potential swatter won’t be able to locate them based on their IP address.
CyberHoot’s Minimum Essential Cybersecurity Recommendations
The following recommendations will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.
- Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
- Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
- Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
- Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, and deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
- In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
- If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
- Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.
Each of these recommendations, except cyber-insurance, is built into CyberHoot’s product and virtual Chief Information Security Officer services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit CyberHoot.com and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.
For more info, watch this X min video on Cybrary Term.
CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like:
- Cybrary (Cyber Library)
- Press Releases
- Instructional Videos (HowTo) – very helpful for our SuperUsers!
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