Unfortunately, a symptom of the exponential advancement of technology in the modern day has also meant a growth in the number of scammers attempting to trick unsuspecting IT users into giving them confidential information.
With new types of phishing attacks appearing every day to try and fool individuals and companies, these attempts are, unfortunately, often successful. However, you can help protect yourself and your business by following these steps to prevent phishing attacks.
What is phishing, and how can it be prevented?
Phishing, named after the lures used to “fish” for users’ sensitive information, is often emails or text messages posing as legitimate and trusted sources to get you to provide confidential, private information that gives them harmful access to your accounts.
Some common examples of phishing attacks include:
- Reports of suspicious account activity or log-in attempts.
- Claims there’s a problem with your account or your payment information.
- Say you need to confirm some personal or financial information.
- Include an invoice you don’t recognise.
- They want you to click on a link to make a payment (the link has malware)
- Say you’re eligible to register for a government refund.
- Offer a promotion for free stuff.
That is not to say these messages are not ever real. However, you should separately reach out to the business supposedly contacting you to confirm if this is the case. Even if you click the link, the site can mimic the look of the business they are impersonating to help sell the lie. Some attempts are more targeted to specific individuals or companies and have pre-existing information about your identity to help make the scam more believable.
What is the best protection against phishing?
The only effective way to prevent a phishing attack is to recognise what it looks like and ensure your staff are adequately equipped with awareness training to deal with it properly.
Double-check the sender’s details for discrepancies, such as incorrect phone numbers or mismatched emails. If it’s clear, they have no personal information on you and address you as sir/madam, customer/user or simply by your email address. Some security software can automatically detect suspicious phishing emails and flag them as spam to minimise the risk of staff accidentally falling for the attempt.
Beyond that, you can look into storing company data in policy-driven cloud systems to keep local devices clear of confidential information that could be dangerous if accessed. As well as this, two-factor authentication can help to add an additional level of security to accounts, so even if you’ve input details into a fake form, the attacker will require further credentials to gain full access.
Finally, data protection and backup options can help you reduce an attack’s damage by ensuring your critical information is protected and accessible. Downtime will be a thing of the past, with disaster recovery that allows you to quickly reclaim lost data with our secure system. Supported by a team of backup specialists, you can rest assured your data is in good hands, allowing you to focus on the more important aspects of running your business.
Importance of preventing a phishing attack
A successful phishing attack can result in detrimental problems for both individuals and businesses. For individuals, attackers may be able to access bank or card details, make unauthorised purchases on your account, remove funds from your account and even steal your identity.
However, the risk is much larger when you’re dealing with compromised customer information, staff, and general business information, as you’re liable for more than just your own data. Regardless of size or industry, no company is safe from phishing attacks, and everyone will experience it in one way or another.
Stop phishing from affecting your business
With cyber threats representing a high element of risk to all organisations, taking a forward-thinking approach to cyber-security is a must. Protecting your company data with ClearYolk means your data is looked after in a highly secure system supported by a team of data backup specialists.