How To Protect Your Organization Against Toads?

TOADs, or Telephone Oriented Attack Deliveries, represent a major challenge for organizations. These attacks target the telephone systems to infiltrate the business’ networks, steal critical information or disrupt operations. They come in various forms, each with their own methods and specific impacts.

How do TOAD attacks work?

TOAD attacks can vary, but they all share a common goal: use telephones as an assault vector. Here are a few common examples of this type of scam:

  • Call spoofing: The attackers manipulate the caller’s identifying information to make it seem as though the interaction comes from a reliable source. This technique leads users to answer and to potentially disclose confidential information.
  • Smishing: The cybercriminals send misleading SMS messages to encourage victims to click on malicious links or to reveal personal information. This method is similar to email phishing, but uses text messages instead.
  • Voice attacks: The weaknesses of voice-activated systems or voice assistants are exploited to obtain unauthorized access to the device or to extract critical information.
  • Telephone denial of service (TDoS): The attackers submerge a device or network with a flow of calls or SMS messages, disrupting the service or causing the infrastructure to fail.

Impact of TOAD attacks on organizations

TOAD attacks can have devastating consequences on businesses. Confidential information, such as the financial data or personal information of clients, can be stolen, threatening the reputation of the organization. Telephone denial of service attacks can cripple the company’s communication systems, leading to costly business interruptions. The stolen data can be used to commit frauds or to steal the identity of employees or clients, leading to financial losses or legal issues. With the rise of generative AI, criminals can create voice messages or SMS messages that seem remarkably human, thereby increasing the likelihood of users being deceived. 

How do we protect ourselves from TOAD attacks?

To protect themselves from TOAD attacks, businesses must adopt a proactive approach in terms of cybersecurity.

  • Educate employees on the dangers of TOAD threats and on how to recognize phishing, call spoofing or other common techniques used to attack an organization.
  • Use call and SMS filtering technologies to identify and block malicious communications before they reach the users.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication mechanisms for voice-activated systems and other sensitive services to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Monitor suspicious activities and analyze telephone logs to quickly identify potential attacks and respond effectively.
  • Ensure that all telephone systems and related software are regularly updated to correct known weaknesses.

By staying vigilant and adopting appropriate measures, your organization can reduce the risks and protect its most precious assets against cybercriminals. At MicroAge Canada, we understand the importance of telecommunications security and are there to help you reinforce your defence against emerging threats. Contact us to know more about our cybersecurity solutions.

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