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What is Phishing, and How Does it Affect Your Business?

There is a lot of content on the impact of cyber-attacks and malicious software and applications on businesses, with approximately 75% resulting from Phishing. This is considered one of the major threats to businesses, both large and small. Phishing accounted for 41% of all cyber-attacks in 2015. 

While it may seem like an uncommon occurrence, these attacks can be extremely dangerous for companies unprepared to deal with the consequences. 

In this blog post, we discussed Phishing, the types of Phishing, steps you can take to protect your business from becoming a victim, and why it’s so important to implement anti-phishing measures in your organization right away!

What is Phishing 

Phishing is a form of cyberattack that involves sending fraudulent emails and messages to individuals to trick them into disclosing sensitive and personal information. It is super malicious to your business and financial integrity, and it’s rated as one of the most common forms of cyber-attack. A successfully carried out phishing attack can lead to identity theft or financial loss.

For example, your bank or credit card company might send emails that look like they are coming from them but aren’t! The goal of these emails is to trick you into going to a fake website where they ask for sensitive information such as passwords and Social Security Numbers, and other information that can be used against you.

Types of Phishing 

TechniqueAttack VectorDescription
WhalingEmailThis form of spear phishing is targeted at the CFO, CEO and other top-ranked members of a company to access their credentials. 
PhishingEmail/InternetPhishing is the general term used to describe attacks that lure victims to install malware or disclose personal information. The scammer impersonates an organization, contact, or brand.
PharmingInternetA technique majorly used to redirect Internet users to phishing websites, basically involving modification of DNS records. 
VishingTelephonePhishing attacks through the telephone via automated voice response or voice call. 
SMiShingSMS and Instant Messaging ServicesThis involve the use of messaging apps to fool employees into installing malware, visiting a malicious website or giving a callback. 

Steps to Protect your Company

To protect your company from the damages these schemes can cause, it is important to know how identify and stop it. Below we outline HOW:

  • Conduct training and educate your employees with mock phishing scenarios 
  • Create a SPAM Filter that detects blank senders, viruses, etc. 
  • Update all systems with the latest updates and security patches 
  • Schedule signature updates, antivirus solutions and monitor the progress on all equipment. 
  • Use web filter to block malicious websites 
  • Ensure all sensitive information is encrypted 
  • Disable HTML emails or Convert HTML emails to text-only email 

What is The Common Mistake that Leads to Phishing

Careless Internet Browsing

The internet is a great place to find information, but not when it comes at the risk of your security.

One of the most efficient ways to protect a business from internet-based attacks is by restricting employees from browsing malicious websites; this will help reduce exposure significantly!

Additionally, educating those who contact customers on how to respond when contacted through emails or social media messages; asking them to click an attachment that may appear legitimate but contains malware.

Employees need to be careful which browsers they utilize and read all URLs from right to left to find out if it’s safe before entering personal information like usernames and passwords into these sites!

Why is Phishing so Damaging?

If you think your email is safe, think again. According to the 2017 IBM X-force Threat Report, phishing attacks are rising and account for 90% of all data breaches reported so far this year! The average cost per incident in a company that falls victim amounts to $3 million; this is six times more expensive than ransomware threats, which IT administrators can easily get rid of once they’re aware their system has been compromised.

Phishing attacks are so successful because they slip through the cracks in email and web security technologies. Businesses commonly use Office 365, G-Suite Exchange to send emails across their company networks – these platforms are designed to filter spam emails or overly malicious links!

However, Phishing attacks are often less obvious than they seem. While some of them can be malicious, many others just use social engineering to get you on their website and then steal information from your account with malware-infected URLs in emails.

The majority (not 100%) phish schemes don’t contain any intentional harmful behavior – instead, these scams rely heavily upon “social” manipulation techniques like persuading someone via fake profiles/identity theft etc.

The way forward against this type of online fraudulence involves ensuring every device accessing confidential information has up-to-date software with patches applied regularly by an expert team who knows what’s relevant at any given time.

The true brilliance of the phishing attack is that it can be as innocent-looking and nonthreatening. This makes users more likely to give up their sensitive information, like passwords for bank accounts or email addresses on social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger. 

Managing the Phishing Threat

To protect your organization against phishing attacks, you need a comprehensive anti-phishing strategy with multiple layers of protection. Ensure employees are aware of the principles and have an AI-based solution to filter out most phishing emails before they reach unsuspecting recipients. 

Provide a comprehensive anti-phishing strategy that addresses awareness training for all of your employees and an AI-based phishing detection solution that can filter out most phishing emails. If we help protect against one attack – even if it costs us $1 million – then our ROI is greater than 1%. And with such high stakes, do you want to gamble? You can find more information on how to create this defense system here by contacting us!