Every company faces a risk when it comes to information security. As more services and communications takes place online, the greater the risk becomes for organizations of all sizes. With advances in network firewalls and threat intelligence systems, more bad actors attempt to circumvent information security using targeted phishing attacks.
Even the most seasoned security experts may fall prey to the right kind of phishing attempt, making these the most popular type of cyber-attacks. As these threats continue to evolve and increase in popularity, ensuring employees know the risks and are familiar with the latest tactics will help prevent a phishing attack from succeeding.
What a Phishing Attack Looks Like
A variety of different types of phishing attacks are in use today, but the primary intent of every attack is to trick a user into clicking on a link that compromises the network or prompting them to provide sensitive information to an unauthorized party. Once the attack succeeds, bad actors use the information they gather to extort the company, hack personal accounts, or simply steal private data. Unlike other cybersecurity threats that are detectable with advanced firewalls, phishing attacks rely extensively on engineering situations that exploit users into granting the criminals access.
The Different Types of Phishing Attacks
The rise in popularity of phishing attacks is because users regularly fall for these attempts. In Canada, the number of attacks rose by 170% in 2019. With the advent of ransomware, more criminals now focus attacks on the same people until it succeeds, making the risk of suffering a data breach a clear and present existential threat for all business owners.
Deceptive Phishing Tactics
Deceptive phishing is the most popular tactic. Scammers send out bulk emails or communications to users claiming to be from a legitimate company. Once a user clicks on the link, it will redirect them to a website specifically designed to seem official. If they enter any personal information, the criminals capture the details and their accounts will now be at risk. The easiest way to spot these types of phishing attempts is to verify the URL provided, check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and remain suspicious of all communications that request private personal information.
Spear Phishing Attack Tactics
Spear phishing is different from the above as it targets specific people and users repeatedly. With very little personal information, attackers craft personalized messages directly to a user that impersonates a site or service provider. Cybercriminals will spend a lot of time and effort on these attacks, making the communication seem like it originated from a legitimate business and use information such your name, employee title, or phone number.
To prevent these kinds of attacks from succeeding, the company will need to educate employees and never click on any links that arrived unsolicited. If the message claims to be from a business instead of clicking on the link provided, Google the company and verify that information is accurate.
Vishing and Smishing Tactics
Vishing is one of the oldest methods of phishing, where a criminal will contact a person via phone claiming to be from a specific company. Although these aren’t as popular anymore, it’s still important to remember that employees should never share any personal security information over the phone.
Smishing is a tactic where the cybercriminal uses text messages to deliver malicious links to a phone. As most mobile phones now also have internet browsers and more employees use the work’s Wi-Fi network, these attacks pose a greater danger in today’s business world. Once again, educating employees about the risks of clicking a link (especially when connected to the company’s Wi-Fi) will reduce the risk of an attack succeeding.
Managed Network Services for Improved Information Security
Every company needs to protect networks against data breaches from phishing attempts. With Managed Network Services (MNS) and Managed IT providers, organizations can improve network security and prevent a successful attack from becoming a catastrophe.
MNS provides enhanced network security tools that can detect nefarious links and prevent emails or communication from reaching the intended target. Additionally, MNS and Managed IT will provide robust disaster recovery policies to assist the company with restoring information if an attack succeeds.
Professional Office Productivity Solutions from First Phase Data
All modern companies need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity and phishing attacks. To reduce the business’s risks, document management systems can improve information security with encryption tools, controlled disclosure classifications, and enhanced disaster recovery features. First Phase Data provides office productivity solutions in Manitoba province that improves the workflow efficiencies and helps reduce wasteful practices. As more threats to information security emerge, finding a technology solution partner that helps companies navigate these attacks is essential for a business’s sustainability.
For improved business security and process efficiency, reach out to one of First Phase Data’s technology experts today.