What You Need to Know About Phishing

Phishing is one of the simplest and easiest cybersecurity attacks to execute. It’s also one of the easiest to fall for. A single attack can provide hackers with anything and everything they will need to run roughshod over your business’ digital assets. These attacks are growing more and more common every day, representing one of the single greatest threats to you and your organization. Fortunately, our team spends a great deal of time learning and passing information on to you. Here’s what you need to know about phishing attacks.

What is a Phishing Attack?

Phishing attacks are basically digital con games. What you need to know about phishing is pretty basic. The attacker attempts to trick users into entering confidential information, or their own credentials, in order to gain access. These attacks are most commonly executed via email and can be quite sophisticated. Attackers have been able to replicate seemingly legitimate websites, formats, and email addresses with the simple goal of fooling an employee into giving up information that will grant them access.

How do they Work?

Phishing scams rely heavily on our increasingly busy world. These attacks aim for times when email flows are heavy and employees are distracted. Often they tell the target that some corrective action is required to reset a password, directing them to fake websites in the hopes of quickly entered information. Rather than check the email, the employee clicks on the link and gives the information to save time. This now allows the attacker access to your systems.

While not every attack works, they often do. The solution for the attackers is to approach these attacks in a shotgun manner. Since it often only takes one attack, and email addresses for employees aren’t hard to find, this method has surprisingly effective results.

What is the Cost?

It’s hard to nail down a specific number, but the FBI currently estimates that these attacks cost companies approximately $5 billion a year. Given that these scams can be anything from gaining account access to authorize charges to acting as false vendors and accepting payment, the dollar amounts can be quite high. Even if the attack only compromises your business security, the time and money spent on getting secure again can be incredibly significant.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple software solution that will stop these attacks. The ultimate solution is a combination of awareness, education, and constant vigilance. There are some solutions you can pursue, such as using a one way contact form on your website, that will route the request to an email without opening your company directory, and you should look at implementing them. Perhaps one of the best options is to work with a cybersecurity professional to make sure that all of your bases are covered and your vulnerabilities are addressed. Whatever you do, make sure you are talking within your organization about phishing attacks and don’t be caught off guard.

We hope this primer on what you need to know about phishing helps you and your business. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

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