According to a study by automation company Ivanti, at least 74% of companies have been victims of phishing attacks in 2020. Phishing scams continue to rise as the world quickly shifts to remote working. Unfortunately, the threat posed by this kind of cyberattack is often ignored and underestimated.
When it comes to company or small business management, protecting sensitive data from cyber threats is just as essential as making sure everything is running smoothly. In this article, we’ll talk about the dangers of phishing and the ways to protect your company from them.
What is Phishing and Why It Matters
Phishing is a cybersecurity attack where hackers send emails with malicious links or attachments that steal sensitive data and login credentials. Phishing emails are made to look like they came from legitimate sources like banks, other companies, and even co-workers.
Malware is secretly installed on the device once an employee clicks on the malicious link or downloads the attachment. The malware will become the hacker’s tool to obtain sensitive information and access your company’s network.
Phishing scams cost US companies around $15 million each year. Aside from financial losses, phishing is usually a prelude to an even bigger cyber-attack like DDoS and ransomware attacks.
Familiarize Your Employees With Phishing Emails
One of the best cyber security solutions available is simply training your staff. When it comes to phishing attacks, they must be familiar with how it is done and what kind of email they should be wary of.
Phishing scammers design their emails to look as legitimate and convincing as possible. However, there are several red flags that your employees can look for to determine if an email is malicious.
- Suspicious email domains: The entire email may look like the real deal, but the red flag can sometimes be found on the sender’s email address. In most cases, hackers don’t use another company’s domain email to create something similar. For example, a valid email domain can look like email@example.com. Hackers will instead use something like sample@legitmale123.
- No Specific Greeting: Phishing emails are designed to be sent to thousands of people hoping that a few of them will take the bait. This means most phishing emails don’t know who you are. Be wary of generic greetings like “Hi Dear” or “Hello Customer,” especially if the sender is supposed to be someone who knows you.
- Poor Grammar, Typos, and Formatting: Most phishing emails are littered with errors and strange word choices. If the quality of the message doesn’t match the standards of the company or organization that the sender claims to be from, then stay clear of it.
- Sense of Urgency: Phishing emails are sometimes designed to create a sense of panic in the reader to make them click the malicious link. Some emails will mention things like arrest warrants, hacking attempts, and missed payments. Do not panic and double-check the content instead, especially if the email sounds too over-the-top.
Everyone in the company must be involved in every information security program or training. Phishing attacks are known to target company executives like CFOs and CEOs.
Invest In Your Company’s Cybersecurity
Investing in cybersecurity tools and safeguards is a necessity in today’s digital world. Arming your IT teams with the right software can help protect your company against other types of cyber threats. Here are some ways to strengthen your company’s information security:
- Installing antivirus programs, firewalls, and spam filters is an important first step in protecting your company from the threat of phishing. 2.
- Keep internet browsers, security software, and operating systems updated at all times.
- Create data backups and implement a recovery plan for worst-case scenarios like data theft and ransomware attacks5.
- Enforce strict password policies that limit the number of people what has access to sensitive data5.
- Consider using multifactor authentication. Requiring at least two or more login credentials for critical company accounts can prevent hackers from successfully accessing them.
Phishing is a cybersecurity threat no company should ever underestimate. It’s essential that your employees understand the concept of phishing and how much damage it can cause if ignored.
Fortuna BMC has strong business partnerships that deliver effective information security services like cyber security training and data breach crisis management.
If your company is looking for effective cyber security solutions, contact us today to schedule a meeting and discuss how we can help.