Can You Afford To Take A Hit Like That?
Cybercrime attacks continue to happen on a regular basis; new variations on the same old trick that pop up over and over again point to a bigger problem than the scams themselves – businesses aren’t learning to protect themselves.
A popular cybercrime tactic among hackers today is “phishing” – and it’s businesses like yours that need the cybersecurity support to protect against it.
Phishing is a method in which they send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources in order to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers.
The reality is that cybercriminals can keep doing the same old thing because users keep falling for the exact same tactics without ever seeming to learn the cybersecurity measures needed to protect against them.
That’s why the rate of phishing attacks increased by 65% in recent years – businesses keep making it easy for cybercriminals to get away with.
What Makes Phishing So Dangerous?
Phishing is a hacking technique that “fishes” for victims by sending them deceptive emails. Virtually anyone on the internet has seen a phishing attack.
Phishing attacks are mass emails that request confidential information or credentials under pretenses, link to malicious websites or include malware as an attachment.
With only a surprisingly small amount of information, cybercriminals can convincingly pose as business members and superiors in order to persuade employees to give them money, data or crucial information.
Top 6 Ways To Spot A Phishing Email
Share these key tips with your employees to ensure they know how to spot a phishing attempt:
- Incorrect Domain: Before even taking a look at the body of the message, check out the domain in the sender’s address. Maybe they claim to be from your bank, or a big name company – but talk is cheap. It’s much more difficult to spoof an actual domain name, and so it’s more common to see domains that are closer, but not 100% correct. If it seems fishy, it probably is.
- Suspicious Links: Always be sure to hover your mouse over a link in an email before clicking it. That allows you to see where it actually leads. While it may look harmless, the actual URL may show otherwise, so always look, and rarely click.
- Spelling and Grammar: Modern cybersecurity awareness comes down to paying attention to the details. When reading a suspicious email, keep an eye out for any typos or glaring errors. Whereas legitimate messages from your bank or vendors would be properly edited, phishing emails are notorious for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Specificity: Another point to consider is how vague the email is. Whereas legitimate senders will likely have your information already (such as your first name) and will use it in the salutation, scammers will often employ vaguer terminology, such as “Valued Customer” – this allows them to use the same email for multiple targets in a mass attack.
- Urgent and Threatening: If the subject line makes it sound like an emergency — “Your account has been suspended”, or “You’re being hacked” — that’s another red flag. It’s in the scammer’s interest to make you panic and move quickly, which might lead to you overlooking other indicators that it’s a phishing email.
- Attachments: Phishers will often try to get you to open an attachment, so, if you see an attachment in combination with any of the above indicators, it’s only more proof that the email is likely part of a phishing attempt.
In the end, the key to phishing methodology is that it doesn’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting-edge hacking technology; phishing targets the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk, regardless of the IT measures set in place.
Making security education a routine for your entire team – management included – is the most effective way to stop a phishing attempt. Waiting for another major cyberattack to start making the rounds is not the time to start investing in your staff’s cybersecurity awareness.
Waiting for another major cyberattack to start making the rounds is not the time to start looking at providing cybersecurity training for your staff- at that point, it’ll be too late. Making cybersecurity education a routine for your entire team – management included – is the most effective way to ensure your team can spot and stop a phishing attempt.
Allow ECW Computers to help. We’ve been providing IT security services — including training by industry-leaders KnowBe4 — to businesses like yours for years, and we will do the same for you.
By having our expert team of IT security professionals equip you with robust cybersecurity solutions, train your staff to spot and eliminate threats, as well as keep everything up to date, you can ensure all your cybersecurity bases are covered.