QR Codes: Convenient But Risky

Risky QR codes to support Managed Services Provider's blog article.

QR codes are everywhere, and they offer legitimate convenience – think menus, payments, and quick links. However, cybercriminals are exploiting this trend with a rise in QR code phishing scams – or “quishing”. Businesses and individuals need to be aware that not every QR code is safe, and a little caution goes a long.

How QR Code Phishing Works

The beauty of QR codes is that they eliminate the need to type in a web address. Unfortunately, that also means you can’t see the actual URL behind the code. Attackers hide malicious links within QR codes that might redirect you to a fake login page designed to steal credentials, download malware to your device, or worse.

Quishing in Action

QR code scams come in many flavors. A fraudulent code on a flyer might promise a discount but deliver ransomware. Tabletop QR codes in restaurants could be tampered with, sending you to a malicious site. Even text messages or emails with QR codes aren’t automatically safe, particularly if they seem out of the blue or urge immediate action.

Tips to Scan Safely

QR codes aren’t inherently bad. Here’s how to use them wisely: Before scanning, try to verify the source and consider the context. Does it make sense in the given situation? Some QR code scanners have a preview feature – use it to see the URL before going to the site. Be wary of QR codes that trigger unusual requests for sensitive information.

Cybersecurity Essentials for Businesses

Protecting your business requires more than individual vigilance. Employee cybersecurity training is vital, covering phishing in all its forms, including quishing. Robust endpoint security on all devices blocks access to malicious sites that might be linked through tricky QR codes.

How an MSP Helps

Implementing comprehensive protection can be overwhelming for busy companies. Partnering with a managed services provider ensures you have the right security tools in place. An MSP can also provide IT consulting on security best practices and deliver ongoing training to your team – all of which lessens the risk of employees falling for QR code scams and other cyberattacks. If you own a business in the greater Philadelphia area, give us a call, and we can see how we can help you. More detailed information can be found here: https://www.trustwave.com/en-us/resources/blogs/spiderlabs-blog/think-before-you-scan-the-rise-of-qr-codes-in-phishing/

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