A staggering 91% of cyber attacks against corporations are the result of phishing emails. Just one employee clicking on a phishing link can cause a catastrophic domino effect that puts your data and your customer’s information at risk. Unfortunately, a lack of training is often the cause.
Some businesses may also lack adequate security to prevent incidents such as this from hurting their bottom line.
The good news is that both of these errors can be corrected. These phishing facts will tell you just how serious the threat is and why your business needs to pay attention.
Phishing Is Incredibly Common
Although the name might sound cute, the effects of phishing and other types of cybercrime can have a devastating impact on a company. Phishing attacks can result in financial losses, put customer and client data at risk, and put the systems at risk as well.
Phishing scams are a type of cybercrime that attempt to deceive recipients in order to obtain sensitive information. Someone will click on a link in an email or text, expecting that it’s from a trusted source, and download malware onto their computers.
Cybercriminals are also quite clever these days. While most people imagine unwitting seniors falling for the “Nigerian Prince scam,” anyone can fall for a phishing attack if they don’t know what to look for. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly learning and adapting to make these emails and texts look more legitimate.
For instance, employees might receive emails that appear to come from clients or other companies that they trust. The email always asks the user to click on a link, reply with their personal information, or open an attachment.
Phishing is also incredibly common.
If you look at your spam folder right now, you may even see some email headers that look suspiciously like a phishing scam.
While spam filters do their best, some emails manage to trickle through. One employee clicking on one of those links is all it takes, which is why cybersecurity protection is so crucial.
Corporate Employees Are Often Targets
Unfortunately, many cybercriminals purposefully target corporate employees to try and access vulnerable data. Companies often have a lot of sensitive data on file, including customer contact numbers, emails, payment information, and more.
It’s an easy way to access thousands of individuals’ data at once. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recent Internet Crime Report, phishing and similar cyber crimes affected 323,972 victims in 2021.
That number doesn’t even account for other types of cybercrime, such as identity theft, personal data breach, etc.
Also, phishing attacks can lead to further damage, such as identity theft, which can cost a business millions or even billions of dollars. Customers that find out about data breaches and similar attacks start to lose their faith in businesses and may stop supporting your company.
Phishing Techniques Rely on Fear or Urgency
One of the most common tactics in a phishing scam is to create a feeling of urgency or panic. For instance, the email might say “urgent” or “open immediately.”
Email and text messages are the most common methods of scamming a victim. Often, the message will tell a story designed to trick you into clicking on the link. It might be an attachment you weren’t expecting, a notice about a missed online payment, or someone that detected unusual log-in activity.
On the surface, these emails may look legitimate. The sense of urgency they create often results in people blindly opening those emails to learn more.
Examples of phishing scams include:
- Someone noticed unusual account activity
- There’s an issue with the payment information
- You need to confirm payment information in the email or text
- Click on a link to make a payment
- Open an invoice you don’t recognize
- Update your account information by clicking on a link
Often, these scams can be thwarted by calling the company the supposed email is from or logging in (without clicking the link) on an app or website. If you don’t notice any issues and calling the company hasn’t revealed any problems, you know it’s a scam.
How to Protect Your Company
Employees that aren’t sure what to look for may accidentally click on these links, assuming they’re real. Doing so gives hackers the invitation they need to access sensitive information.
Thankfully, you can reduce the number of incidents or eliminate the problem altogether with the right training and by using security software.
Educate your staff on the dangers of sharing personal information, including company passwords. Teach users to be careful about which websites they visit. Conduct training on what to look for and what to do if they spot a phishing email.
One of the best ways to protect your company is by using security software and talking with an IT consulting firm. Make sure your security program updates automatically, so you’re always protected from the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
Anti-virus software can block or trap threats like malware. However, you also want to be sure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep your company safe. The more safeguards you have in place, the better off you’ll be.
Consider outsourcing your IT services. It’s scalable, efficient, and affordable, making it ideal for small and medium businesses.
Another benefit of working with a data protection and IT-managed services company is that they can tailor a unique solution to meet your business needs. Each company is different, and a one-size-fits-all package may not be enough to protect you from cybercriminals.
Remember These Phishing Facts
We hope these phishing facts informed you about this very real threat. Companies are especially at risk, as they work with so much sensitive data. Use these tips to protect your business and your customers from online scams.
When you’re ready to develop a security solution that works for you, send us a message and get started. Our on-site assessment will evaluate your needs and help you reach your security goals.