More than half of businesses in Canada have experienced at least one LinkedIn scam so far this year, according to research by NordLayer, a network security solution for businesses. NordLayer surveyed 500 companies in thee countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The external agency SAGO conducted the surveys between March 15 and 25, 2023. Respondents were asked a set of questions about LinkedIn scams in the B2B industry. The samples were taken from non-governmental organizations operating in the services industry, and the target respondents were decision-makers (sole or partial) for IT-related acquisitions. Companies were divided into 3 main groups regarding size: 1 – 10 employees (small), 11-200 employees (medium), 201+ employees (large).
The most targeted companies for scams tend to be big companies (65%) with phishing attempts being the most popular scam they encounter (47%), followed by an interruption to operations (45%).
“Like in every social media platform, attackers and scammers seek information and money under the threat of ruining reputations. We know that employees are considered the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, and LinkedIn has millions of professional accounts, making it an even more appealing target for scammers. No one should let their guard down, no matter how professional a message might look,” says Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer. “One of the best ways to protect your business from LinkedIn scams is to encourage employees to use two-factor authentication (2FA) on their LinkedIn accounts.”
According to the research, 65% of big companies have been contacted by a scam/fake account on LinkedIn at least once. Furthermore, 58% of medium and 31% of small companies have experienced it at least once.
“Cyberattacks are a major threat to businesses of all sizes” adds Salas, “however, big companies are often the most targeted due to their data and value. They also have larger networks, more employees and databases, making them vulnerable to attack. Hackers will often focus their efforts on these targets to maximize their rewards.”
Data revealed that phishing attempt (47%) is the most prevailing LinkedIn scam among Canadian businesses. Moreover, they also experience fake job offers (41%), fake tech support as well as requests to connect from an unknown person with a suspicious link in the message (38% each). 117 job applications are posted ever second on the LinkedIn platform according to NordLayer.
Surprisingly, almost half of Canadian companies (43%) are also aware of a scam on LinkedIn using their organization’s brand name. This type of scam was the most prevalent among big companies (53%), but it’s also common among smaller ones: 53%. Only small companies noted that they almost never experience such scams (13%).
Research also shows that the most popular employee action against these scams in Canada was to contact LinkedIn administrators (68%). Employees were also eager to inform the community with posts on social media (66%) as well as contact law enforcement to report the scam (54%).
Canadian companies named interruption to services (45%) and stolen/damaged client contacts (42%) as the leading outcome of scams followed by stolen or damaged data (41%) and damage to reputation (38%).