Are You at Risk? Evolving Phishing Techniques & How to Secure Your Business
Phishing is one of the largest cyber threats today. Are you protected?
Keep your business secure and stay ahead of evolving phishing techniques with a free dark web scan and these key cybersecurity tips.
In the past several years, cybercrime has increased at an exponential rate. The FBI, in their annual report, indicated that in 2018 alone, cybercrimes cost $2.7 billion, up from $1.4 billion the year prior.
Of these cybercrimes, phishing is one of the biggest threats. While many companies are focused on the dangers of malware and ransomware, the tactics used to spread such dangerous programs are continually evolving and go largely ignored.
Staying ahead of the cybersecurity risks also means understanding how different threats are implemented, how they change, and what can be done to prevent future attacks.
How Phishing Works
In a recent report, it was noted at 56% percent of mobile device users received and clicked on a phishing scam in the last year, which means much of the population remains unaware of how to determine between a safe email, text, or URL and one that is designed to deceive them.
Phishing is a method of cybercrime via email, text, or phone call that convinces a user to part with important personal information. The technique also uses social engineering to make the recipient feel comfortable opening an attachment or clicking on a link that then allows malware to infiltrate the device.
The Dangers of Evolving Tactics
Phishing emails are one of the most common ways in which ransomware is spread. Unsuspecting employees will open emails that appear to be from their own IT department or any reputable source. They then click on an attachment that allows the ransomware to access not only the device, but the entire network.
Once infiltrated, the network or certain crucial information is held ransom. Not only do companies end up paying large amounts to gain back access to their data, but money is lost due to damaging downtime in day-to-day business.
As companies and individuals become familiar with the way phishing works, cybercriminals evolve their tactics. For example, recent reports indicate that the latest wave of phishing techniques include an email with a supposed link to a voicemail. Also known as vishing, this method convinces the recipient that they are merely receiving an audio file from a voicemail service, a common practice in the business world today.
Protect Your Business from Cybercrime
Staying protected from potential threats and cyberattacks involves a combination of keeping your company informed as well as implementing technology to work on your behalf. Outlined are several ways to secure your business against future cyber threats.
Learn to Detect Phishing Emails
Understanding the methods used in phishing schemes is the first step to protecting your company. Phishing emails include several red flags that are recognizable.
- Unfamiliar or Strange URL: If the URL has the appearance of being from a reputable source, yet is a derivative of a familiar URL, chances are it is a scam. Look for indicators such as numbers (where there wouldn’t normally be numbers), unfamiliar top-level domain, or hyphens and added words.
- Professional Language: If you pay close attention, many phishing emails have grammar and spelling mistakes. These would be unacceptable in a professional email and are a sure indication of a scam. Also, generic greetings, as well as forceful and urgent language, is common in phishing emails. As a fake company, the cybercriminal won’t have your first name. A generic greeting such as “customer” can be indicative of a scam. Finally, the goal is to get you to click on a link or send information quickly. This is done by communicating urgency.
- Links and Attachments: When an email is already suspicious, a link or attachment are a good indicator that the email is a phishing scheme. If in doubt, contact your IT department for further confirmation.
Train Employees to Recognize Phishing
The next step in protecting your business is to train your employees to also recognize the above tactics. Phishing uses social engineering to deceive users and most attacks are successful because of human error. By training employees to recognize threats and phishing schemes, you can help protect them—and your company—against the over 7.5 million malicious emails sent annually.
Implement Cybersecurity Programs and Software
Making sure you have the correct software in place on your devices and across your network will go a long way in protecting your company. Software security filters out many of the cybercrime and phishing risks that modern businesses face. This one step also protects your employees from needing to filter through large amounts of phishing emails.
Partnering with cybersecurity experts is one way to ensure your company stays ahead of evolving cybercrime techniques. Essential Solutions, LLC partners with Louisiana-based companies across all industries to secure, train, and protect against cyber threats.
Get a free dark web scan during the month of October to see how prepared your business is in the face of evolving cybercrimes. Contact Landon Futch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary scan today.