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Phishing 101 – The Greatest Digital Threat to Your Business

When thinking about the biggest threat to your business, what comes to mind? Competitors, state of the economy, rules and regulations? While all of these are valid, the biggest and fastest growing threat to your business is cyberattacks, and more specifically, phishing.

About 32% of all data breaches tracing back to forms of phishing. Often overlooked, phishing uses tactics to create fraudulent messages (often text or email) to extract personal or corporate information from you by posing as a legitimate sender. All it takes is one successful phishing ploy to send your business into a state of disrepair. Phishing and other forms of cyberattacks have skyrocketed in frequency since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The teleworking environment that relies heaving on email communication has created the perfect conditions for fraudulent and scam messages to flourish.

Taking the proper steps to prevent these types of attacks may not be the first thing to cross our mind in terms of having the tools that your firm needs to succeed but will prove to be incredibly beneficial when your business’s information is safe and secure.

Here are some examples of phishing tactics for you and your employees to be knowledgeable to help identify threats.

  • CEO Fraud – Hackers using this tactic pose as a CEO or high ranking official of your company, asking the recipient for a variety of things that may include transferring funds or sending tax information.
  • Content Injection – This form of phishing occurs when a familiar or trusted website is “injected” with malicious content in the form of a link or pop-up that takes you to a secondary website that has incentives to enter your personal or corporate information like passwords and credit card numbers.
  • Email – The most common phishing tactic, hackers send what sounds like and urgent email to a wide number of recipients, encouraging them to update some type of security details, be it their password, account details or personal information.
  • Evil Twin Wi-Fi – Scammers can also create fake Wi-Fi access points that appear as legitimate hot spots where they are able to intercept data and information from your machine once you have connected.
  • Fake Websites – These are created to replicate authentic, frequently used websites, tricking users into thinking they’re on the original site and leading them to expose themselves to a cyberattack. 
  • Link Manipulation – This is a form of phishing email that contains a malicious link that may look similar to that of a trusted brand or site. Usually, this email or link urges you to update or verify account details.
  • Malvertising – When on a given site, these pop-ups or ads can, once clicked on, install malware onto your machine.
  • Malware – Clicking on an attachment or link can inadvertently expose your machine to a software that scavenges your device and network for information.
  • Session Hijacking – Though this is a sophisticated type of hijacking, it can still occur. This is when a hacker is able to breach a web server and access the information stored on that server.
  • Spear Phishing – A form of advanced targeted email phishing, spear phishing targets your business by using personalized messages to trick you into stealing data and severely compromise your organization.
  • Voice Phishing – Also known as “vishing,” a caller urges the recipient to call another phone number where they will be urged to “act quickly” and give information before a certain consequence takes place.

In order to protect yourself and your business from the ever-growing threat of phishing, you must first educate yourself. Knowing how to identify and react is the first form of defense against these attacks. However, with the sophistication of phishing evolving, these tactics may not be enough.

Several steps can be taken to even prevent exposure to phishing scams, such as deploying a spam filter, instating cybersecurity measures, encrypting company information, etc. This may not be the easiest task for some companies. That’s where companies like Bravo come in to play. With Bravo on Demand we take a proactive approach through alerts & monitoring to identify threats before they impact your business. Our industry experts can keep your business protected, all while you can stick to doing what you do best. If you’d like to learn more about how Bravo’s team can help you, visit our website.

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