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Phishing is a social engineering attack used to obtain sensitive information, such as login credentials and payment details, from users. It happens when an attacker, posing as a trusted source, misleads a victim into clicking on a malicious link or downloading a spam file sent over email, text messages, phone calls or social media. Phishing is considered a social engineering attack because it happens via an open communication channel. This way, criminals won’t need to fight the cyber security suite head-on but rather trick the user into opening a backdoor for them.
If you fall into this trap, you could end up with malware, system slowdowns and sensitive data loss, among other things. Once a criminal opens a backdoor, he has access to your machine. They can easily steal your data and try to infect the entire network.
Related Article: Top Tips to Identity a Suspicious Email
The term phishing is one of the most reviled in today’s digital landscape and is a significant concern for executives. It’s no surprise that the word is frowned upon when the attack vector is responsible for more than 20% of data breaches.
These attacks can be severely damaging for people and businesses. While individuals are affected by illicit purchases, financial fraud or identity theft, a company that is the victim of such an attack, in most cases, suffers severe financial losses as well as a loss of market share, reputation and stakeholder trust.
An unfortunate reality regarding phishing is that the attack vector is becoming more sophisticated and frequent with each passing day. In this article, we’ll explain the main reasons for this and provide some insight into avoiding this threat.
Over the last year and a half, a significant number of organisations had to transition to remote/hybrid work models. While the switch allowed operations to continue without interruption, the scattered workforce and mobile endpoints brought their own set of challenges. One of the main problems was vulnerabilities becoming more visible to hackers, who quickly exploited them through phishing attacks.
Read: How to Build a Security-First Culture to Empower your Hybrid Workforce
The shift in communications between employees also made room for more phishing opportunities. Before the rise of remote working, co-workers would often talk directly about most topics, whilst now most communications happen via email and instant messaging applications. If an employee receives a link from another one, it’s not as easy to verify if the email is legit as it was when people were sitting next to each other.
In efforts to stay afloat amid the global crisis, many businesses completely disregarded cybersecurity. The rush to remote work meant that people were concerned about getting their staff operational and forgot about their security in the process.
This resulted in insufficient spending on security tools, lack of employee training and much more. People got used to working on their personal devices from unprotected networks. Such mistakes opened the door for cybercriminals.
Keep in mind that hackers constantly strive to uncover and exploit even the tiniest flaws in your business. They’re continually shifting their strategy, so you’re practically defending against a moving attacker.
Threat actors have recently targeted businesses via the website contact form, pretending to be legal authorities, saying that the company is not complying with the law and asking the organisation to download a “report.”
We also have plenty of examples from the Covid 19 pandemic, where criminals pretended to be part of health organisations to try and trick people. A security-first posture is a must for a business to avoid such tactics.
Several low-cost phishing tools are available on the dark web, allowing even non-technical people to become hackers. They can purchase lists of emails, craft their own messages and fire at the thousands per time. If it doesn’t work, they’ll just try again.
To avoid falling victim to phishing, all small and midsize businesses (SMBs) must be constantly vigilant. Learning how to identify a suspicious email is vital for this. To keep your business safe, you must:
Trying to guard against phishing requires effort and resources, but this can be made much easier if you have a specialist partner with a robust security strategy. Collaborating with an expert like us relieves you of additional concern and responsibility. We’ll handle employee training, monitoring and the best security tools that money can buy. If anything does get through, our Helpdesk is always operational and will sort out any issues before they can cause damage.
Contact us today to talk to our specialists. We’ll seek to understand your concerns, identify your vulnerabilities and propose solutions to improve your security. Our team knows how to leverage the power of technology and has been doing so for 2 decades. Our customer satisfaction rate is always close to 100% – check our case studies from different industries to learn more.
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