HacWare CEO: Scammers Increasingly Using QR Codes In Emails

The CEO of HacWare discusses everything from phishing trends to the power of using AI with cybersecurity training in the latest episode of Channel Women in Security.

Here’s a look at some of the CRNtv interview with Tiffany Ricks, the founder of the Dallas, Texas-based company and an ethical hacker.

What are the biggest trends you see around phishing scams right now?

The biggest trends in phishing are focused on really trying to exploit each user’s needs. We’re all now used to using QR codes so they are sending emails that have QR codes in them, instead of links because they’re trying to get us to scan that code, go to that malicious website, because a lot of the email platforms don’t know how to detect QR codes. And so, we’re seeing a lot of trends where they’re exploiting us in the real world as well as on digital platforms with QR codes, AirDrop phishing. Zoom impersonations are still popular.

You use AI a lot to help with your training. Can you talk about the difference that it makes with that awareness?

Instead of someone having to go and research, ‘How are cybercriminals trying to phish us today’, the platform is going to automatically do that for you. So, it’s all about trying to proactively learn and see trends on what’s going on in the threat landscape, make it just automatic and then incorporate that into your phishing simulations in your training. The AI can help you to make sure that everyone’s up to date on what’s happening today and even help understand what they could be doing on other platforms.

What advice do you have for other women in the cybersecurity or in the ethical hacking space?

Women, we have a great opportunity and I use the way that we‘re perceived as an advantage. If you want to be an ethical hacker, use that ability to fly under the radar as your superpower. 

The other thing that I tell all women in security, in technology and in business, is you want to be a champion of your skills. You have to market yourself and be that cheerleader.

The third and final thing is: we have to be students of our craft. Continuously learning and finding ways to learn something about our skill set is important to have longevity in this evolving, changing business.

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