Phishing attacks are highly lucrative for cybercriminals, which is why they are one of the most common forms of cyberattack. With 81% of organizations worldwide experiencing email phishing attacks and 25% of all data breaches resulting from phishing, it’s something you need to take seriously to protect your organization. With this in mind, let’s take a deep dive into phishing attacks and how to protect your company.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a form of cyberattack in which criminals pose as legitimate organizations or contacts to trick individuals into divulging personal and sensitive information. This is most commonly done via email, although it can also be done via phone or text message. The individual will be asked to click on a link or provide sensitive information, such as credentials, credit card information, or company data.
Types of Phishing Attacks
There are several types of phishing attacks that can affect your organization. These include:
- Phishing emails – The individual receives an email that looks like it has come from a legitimate sender. The email will contain a link for the recipient to click or it will require the recipient to take some action, such as sending money, changing their password, or giving out sensitive information.
- Spear phishing – This involves an email being sent out that impersonates an individual or company and is personalized to look legitimate, making it extremely difficult to identify it as a scam.
- Company impersonation – When a cybercriminal poses as someone from your company by using an email domain similar to that of your company.
- Takeover of an email account – This happens with a cybercriminal gets ahold of the credentials of company leadership and uses their account to collect sensitive information.
- Voice/phone phishing – When criminals use phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to impersonate a company and collect sensitive information.
Ways to Protect Against Phishing Attacks
Protecting your company from phishing attacks has never been more important. You can take the following steps to help prevent phishing attacks from being successful in your organization:
- Educate and train employees – This is the most important thing you can do to protect against phishing attacks. Make sure your employees are aware of these types of attacks and how to spot them or verify the identity of the sender before clicking on links or giving out information.
- Avoid clicking on links – This follows from the previous point. If there is a link in an email and you are not 100% certain you know it is legitimate, do not click on it. Call or text the sender to verify that they sent it.
- Be wary of unsecured websites – If a website is not secure, do not provide sensitive information.
- Avoid clicking on popups – Popups can contain links to malware, so avoid clicking on them and use the “x” to close it, rather than clicking on the “Close” button.
- Change passwords regularly – Mandate password changes every few weeks or months to ensure they remain secure.
- Use firewalls and anti-phishing add-ons – Firewalls protect your network from attacks and browsers allow you to install anti-phishing add-ons that will alert you to malicious websites.
- Ensure all updates are installed – As soon as an update is available, install it to ensure you have all the latest security patches and updates.
- Implement data security policies and procedures – This will ensure that you have all the necessary protections in place, as well as a recovery plan in case of a data breach.
Protecting your systems and data is one of the most important things you can do for the health and prosperity of your organization.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you protect your company against phishing attacks.