Phishing is one of the most common forms of cybercrime; approximately 90% of all data breaches feature an element of phishing, and 60% of small businesses that undergo a data breach will close completely within six months.
Phishing is one of the most common forms of cybercrime — according to CyberTalk.org, approximately 90% of all data breaches feature an element of phishing, and 60% of small businesses that undergo a data breach will close completely within six months. These staggering statistics stress the importance of educating employees on this cyber threat. At Tekie Geek, we offer several IT services to protect New York and New Jersey businesses from security risks. Here, our IT superheroes provide an overview of phishing attacks to help you promote a safer IT infrastructure.
Phishing occurs when a cybercriminal pretends to be a legitimate contact of the business or employee and sends a message asking for classified data, such as passwords or financial information. It typically happens via email but may also come as a text message or phone call. It often results in identity theft and can affect businesses financially.
Phishing is a type of social engineering — tricking people or organizations into sharing confidential information with others not authorized to see it. In many email phishing attacks, the perpetrator will include attachments or links that may seem innocent at first glance but are designed for malicious purposes, such as gathering private account information from the user.
You may wonder how hackers know to contact employees in the first place. They generally collect data on the person by viewing public profiles on social media accounts, which may include information about their work history, schools they attended, and interests. Using this data, they can craft emails tailored to the user, which can make the messages seem more authentic.
Part of why this type of cybercrime is so widespread is that it’s easier for the hacker. Instead of breaking
through a system’s security measures, all the criminal needs to do is prompt the employee to click a link or attachment to install a virus or ransomware. As rampant as phishing attacks are, there are some indications that an email has nefarious intent. Recognizing these features can help you avoid the consequences of falling victim to these scams. Signs of possible phishing include:
· Asks to confirm financial details or login credentials
· Offers a link for making a payment
· Claims there is an issue with the user’s account and asks them to share sensitive information
· Uses a public email address (like Gmail) instead of a corporate email address
· Has an urgent tone, asking the employee to act fast to avoid worse problems
· Contains spelling and grammatical errors and is overall not well written
· Misspells email addresses or URLs
· Includes invoices and other documents that the user doesn’t recognize
· Comes from a suspicious sender, or the address looks unusual for a known contact
Providing adequate protection against phishing can be challenging because hackers frequently develop new tactics to bypass existing defenses. Therefore, the best security method is layered, accounting for the multiple ways phishing can infiltrate a business. The following are some tools and techniques for mitigating the threat of phishing:
Email spam filters: This tool evaluates the entire message, including its appearance, source, and the software used to send it, to determine if the email is legitimate.
Multi-factor authentication: This approach requires a user to enter two or more credentials before getting into an account, making it harder for criminals to access sensitive data.
Best practices for passwords: Educating employees on password hygiene (changing passwords periodically, not using the same password for many accounts) can help minimize the impact of phishing.
Automatic software updates: Making sure software gets updated regularly can enhance email security.
One of the most effective ways to prevent phishing is investing in professional security from a managed service provider. At Tekie Geek, we offer managed IT services to businesses throughout New York and New Jersey, which includes secure email protection that helps filter out phishing attacks.
Phishing affects all organizations but can be particularly detrimental to small businesses. These enterprises not only get targeted often but also may be more at risk for financial loss. If your business in New York or New Jersey needs more sufficient protection against phishing, turn to the IT superheroes at Tekie Geek. We deliver the protection you need to keep your business running for continued success. Contact us today to learn more about our services or gain more insights about cybersecurity threats.