This time of year always brings the hackers out, and they make more of an effort to try and steal both personal and business data. With lots of new phishing trends happening all the time, it is really important to stay on top of the latest ways in which cybercriminals are trying to sneak past the radar of both employees and business owners.
Phishing attacks are ways in which users are tricked into handing over information (including passwords), or making unauthorised payments. In the latest twist, cybercriminals are encouraging victims to click on images rather than suspicious links. Usually, they will entice you in with a killer deal or ‘one time offer’, but then you will be taken through to a fake website which is designed to steal your personal information.
Here are some warning signs to look out for to detect whether an image is part of a phishing campaign:
- Unexpected emails – have you received an email from a stranger? Be really careful, or just delete the email immediately.
- Too good to be true – remember to trust your instincts. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is! You won’t be given a million pounds for clicking onto an image, be realistic.
- Spelling & grammar mistakes – while most of us do make the odd typo, an email littered with spelling and grammar mistakes should raise alarm bells in your head. It could be a sign that something isn’t quite right, and the email is not to be trusted.
- Mismatched logos or branding – this is a sneaky one. If an email contains a logo that doesn’t match the branding of the company who is supposedly sending the email, open with caution.
Protecting Your Business From Phishing Attacks
Now you have some idea of how cybercriminals are trying to get hold of your data, let’s have a look into some of the ways you can protect your business from cyber attacks.
- Employee awareness training
The most important thing you can do to protect your business is to train employees to identify signs of phishing, and how to respond (reporting incidents). Before interacting with any website, staff should look for trust badges from well-known cyber security or antivirus companies to ensure they are safe browsing. Even websites having an SSL certificate helps to show visitors that they are safe to enter personal information.
- Deploy email security
There are lots of modern email filtering solutions available to help protect against malware and other malicious content found in email messages. They can help detect malicious links, attachment, and spam emails. Email security software can automatically block and quarantine suspicious emails, so employees never actually see them in the first place.
- Use endpoint monitoring and protection
With the increased use of cloud software and personal devices in the workplace, it can be hard to track and protect all user endpoints. Endpoint attacks are an easy way for cybercriminals to get into your business, so ensure these are monitored regularly and immediate responses can be carried out on compromised devices.
- Conduct phishing attack tests
Simulated phishing attack tests can help identify whether your security team have the resources to keep your business secure in the event of an attack. These can also be really useful in educating employees in how to keep their devices safe (and what can happen if they don’t). Even if your employees are great at detecting suspicious emails, they should be tested regularly to mimic a real phishing attack.
- Backup your data
In the eventuality that your business does come under attack, it is essential to be able to restore your data to the last possible backup. There is nothing worse than your business having to come to a complete standstill because your data has been compromised.
- Use strong passwords / MFA
A strong, unique password for all the software you use should be implemented & staff should also be trained on this. If you have something like a password manager on all your devices, they have the ability to create strong passwords which are unlikely to become compromised as they are so unique. Multi-factor authentication can also add an extra layer of security as users have to verify their identity through a separate method.
Cybercriminals are getting smarter when it comes to the tactics they use to steal data, so it is incredibly important that your business puts the steps into place to prevent these attacks. Even just by being more aware of their techniques and educating your staff, you can stay one step ahead of them. For more information on the IT support Reality Solutions can provide your business, get in touch today.
*This article contains general information in order to assist all of our customers and is meant for guidance only – there are no guarantees that the information we provide will be suitable for your particular needs. If you require specific assistance, we recommend that you seek professional guidance on your individual circumstances. Reality Solutions are in no way responsible for any loss or damage arising from any information contained within our articles.
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