What You Can Do To Prevent Phishing Attacks 2023

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In this article, we will discuss What You Can Do To Prevent Phishing Attacks 2023

Find out how to spot phishing and what your business needs to do to stop it. Read about how to avoid getting phished and how to stop getting phished emails.

Phishing attacks, not viruses or hackers, are the biggest threat to businesses today. This article will teach you how to spot and stop phishing emails so that they don’t hurt your business and keep bad people from doing so.

Let me ask you this: how aware and proactive are you when it comes to finding and stopping phishing? How safe do you think your company is from cyberattacks?

Phishing Attacks In Numbers

  • This year, 65% of companies in the United States were able to be phished.
  • This year, phishing attacks were aimed at 84% of all small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
  • 65 percent of SMBs have never even done a test for phishing emails.
  • Six months after a cyberattack or data breach, 60% of small businesses can’t get back on their feet and end up going out of business.
  • Malware isn’t even used in 86% of email attacks.
  • Phishing is the cause of 32% of all data leaks.
  • For a medium-sized company, a phishing attack is expected to cause $1.6 million in damage.

The situation will get worse before it gets better, say experts. This is shown by the recent rise in phishing attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These days, it’s easy to start a new business, but most entrepreneurs don’t have the cash flow or security knowledge to protect their startups from attackers.

Phishing Attacks Are Mostly Targeted At Whom?

Phishing Attacks: What You Can Do To Prevent Phishing Attacks

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The following business categories are among those considered “appetizing” by fraudsters. A priority must be given to implementing security measures.

  • Companies using SaaS (33,5%)
  • Financial companies (19.4%)
  • Social networks (8.3%)
  • Users of payment services (13.3%)
  • E-commerce (6,2%)

Most of the attacks are aimed at small businesses

People think that hackers don’t go after small businesses as much as they go after big businesses because big businesses have more money and better products.

In fact, it’s the other way around. Small businesses are more likely to be attacked because they have less money and fewer employees who know how to handle an attack. This makes them easy targets. Hackers often use phishing attacks to take advantage of weaknesses in smaller companies that don’t have much or any money to spend on security.

Damages caused by phishing affect your business’s bottom line

There’s no question that phishing hurts your bottom line. The question is how much damage do you think you’ll get? You have to answer this question so that you can figure out what steps you need to take to protect yourself from this nasty cybercrime.

If your security solution isn’t very good or doesn’t exist at all, you will definitely be a victim of cybercrime and scams that can cost you a lot of money. Cybercrime is usually associated with viruses and trojans, but phishing scams are the real danger.

Because anyone can do it, phishing is a lot scarier than other types of malware. Cybercriminals can start phishing campaigns without writing complicated code or using special tools. They are also easy to run and almost impossible to track.

Most businesses use computers that run Windows. This has made Windows an easier target than other operating systems like Linux or macOS in the past. People think that Windows is especially vulnerable to malware because of this.

We recommend that you don’t rely on how safe you think an OS is. No matter what OS you use, make sure you have enough protection and haven’t already been infected.

How does phishing work?

Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which the target is tricked into giving sensitive information like banking information, credit card numbers, passwords, and information about who they are.

Criminals pretend to be real businesses and contact their victims by phone, text message, email, or all three if they have enough information about their victims. The victims will then be tricked into clicking on a bad link that installs spyware, ransomware, or malware on their computers.

Other types of phishing use fake websites or documents that look like they came from a reliable source. For example, it could be a page like online banking where you enter your profile information, payment information, or personal information.

Taking advantage of stolen data can lead to identity theft, account takeover, and financial loss, or it can be used to sell your information to third parties.

A quick search of the email address can tell you if the sender is real, but not many people know about this security measure, and every employee needs to know about it to stop phishing emails.

How does a phishing email typically look?

A perfect example of a phishing attack is getting an urgent email from a big bank or credit card company telling you that there was a data breach and you need to fix your account right away or it will be frozen.

The attackers are betting that you have a bank account or credit card with that bank or company.

Most people get scared when they get an urgent email, so they do what the email says and click the link or download the attachment. This is the beginning of the end.

Victims don’t know that they’re putting their login information into a fake website that the attacker controls or that they’re downloading malware onto their computer.

There are generally four types of phishing attempts:

  • Modified URLs: These URLs look the same as the real company URLs, but they may be missing one letter. So, you should be careful and make sure it’s real before you click on the link.
  • A fake phone call or email: Fraudsters may request personal information by pretending to be from a company. Don’t tell anyone this information until you’re sure you’re not dealing with scammers;
  • Malware embedded in an email or a link: This is a common way to cheat. To avoid intruders’ tricks, don’t click on sketchy links and only use certified programs;
  • Fake order pages. You can be scammed into divulging your personal information by faking the order page in the store;
  • Suspension of PayPal accounts The result of thieves stealing your money through PayPal accounts. Sometimes, they send you letters using fake email addresses. They want to know how much money you have in your bank accounts and other information. If you thought the letter was strange, don’t answer it. Instead, call the real company representatives.

Phishing prevention measures for businesses

As soon as possible, take the steps you need to protect your business from phishing attacks. If your business hasn’t taken the following steps yet, you’re probably vulnerable to attacks.

Still, phishing attacks always try to get around the best ways to protect yourself, so your IT professionals or IT provider must stay up to date and tighten and improve your security all the time.

Let’s look at what you can and should do to stop phishing in your business.

1. Phishing Email Detection

All of the people who work for your company need to know how to spot a phishing email. A real person can be identified from an email by looking at it.

With an email address search, for example, you can find out where the email came from. If the domain is different from the name on the message, you can be sure it’s a phishing attempt.

Phishing emails don’t use the target’s name and can start with a generic greeting like “Dear Valued Customer.” This is a sign that the email is from a scammer.

Phishing emails also use fake or spoof domains that either hide the real domain or use one that looks like the original (Google, Microsoft) to make the target think it’s real.

2. Regular Employee Cybersecurity Training

Even if you know about these online threats and know what to do when phishing happens, your employees might not.

Make sure that everyone on your staff gets basic training in online safety and hygiene to teach them how to handle ALL emails (don’t click on links or download attachments), no matter where they came from.

You have to be very careful to follow security rules to the letter because even a small mistake could cost you a lot of money. It would also help if you could run regular cybersecurity drills focused on phishing attacks, so your staff would know what to do in any situation.

Constantly reinforce people’s cybersecurity awareness:

One of the popular tactics is sextortion. It is different because a person’s feelings are used to get them to send the ransom. Fear or panic are two examples. Cofense found a botnet in the sector. It had 200 million email addresses in June of this year. Soon, there were 330 million more of them. Because of this, it is important to make people aware. If you want to keep your business safe, you need to make sure your employees are informed and trained.

No technology can replace knowledgeable employees:

A phishing attack was aimed at a large company in the medical field. But when people said they got suspicious letters, the security centre was able to act quickly. In 19 minutes, the attack was stopped.

3. Keep Your Operating System and Software Updated

In some phishing attacks, outdated software or operating systems are used to deliver malware.

Make sure that all company devices are running the latest versions of their operating systems and that ALL software is patched and up to date. Hackers often use media players, PDF viewers, and video conferencing programmes, so they should be kept up to date.

4. Conduct a Password Audit

Do a password audit for the whole office to check for and get rid of weak or duplicate passwords.

Use a strong password for each account and don’t use the same password anywhere else. This is part of a proper password policy. An attacker could get in and do damage with just one password.

Invest in a password manager and make sure everyone uses the strong password the programme makes or a string of three to four random words.

5. Enforce Multi-Factor Authentication on All Accounts

Make sure that multi-factor authentication is turned on by default for every online account. This will add an extra layer of security that attackers can’t get around without the device that has the authenticated code. You can use a physical authentication device or an app that runs on a smartphone.

Don’t rely on HTTPS:

SSL is no longer a sign of safety. It is a set of rules for making a connection that is safe. People have learned to tell the difference between HTTP and HTTPS over time and only visit sites with the right certificate. But today, fraudsters also use the encryption protocol. By the end of the year, TLS or SSL was used on 74% of phishing sites.

6. Isolate and Backup Critical Components

The infrastructure of your company has important parts that not everyone needs to have access to.

Some parts don’t even have to be on the Internet. It would help to keep the important parts of your infrastructure as separate as possible. For example, you could limit access to some servers and keep whole systems offline.

If ransomware attacks, having multiple backups will also help you get your systems back.

7. Make the resource PCI compliant

Having absolute certainty about this is essential. Despite its limitations, this measure can prevent a great deal of fraud.

8. Create a secure connection

Use a VPN to work from home or in public places. This will help keep information from getting out and protect you from people who want to do you harm. VPN is a piece of software that lets you change your IP address. So, it is now safe to use the Internet.

9. Install a Web Application Firewall

Between the data connection and the site server, it’s a cloud service. All traffic coming in passes through this point. This lets WAF keep track of unwanted traffic and stop attempts to hack.

Other threats to look out for

In addition to the more common phishing attacks, business websites need to protect themselves from other threats that are on the rise. There are many threats in the world of malware, but the next two are especially important to know about. Since these threats are still fairly new and most businesses don’t know about them, they are not well protected.

1. Malicious bots

The use of malicious bots is a fairly new way to attack. These bots spread themselves and are made to do certain actions or tasks. First, they crawl through the site. In the process, holes in the security are found. The information is then either sent to the bot master or used to do something specific.

So, your site’s security may be at risk. Most of the time, cybercriminals use these kinds of attacks to make money. They can steal your customers and sell them to competitors, or they can blackmail you into not telling anyone in exchange for a lump sum.

There are many of these kinds of attacks, and there is no one way to stop or stop them. So, it’s best to have a separate technical expert on staff whose job it is to keep your site safe. If there is an attack, he will be able to respond quickly to the bad behavior and limit the damage.

2. Attacks on websites and programs via MySQL injection

Getting into the database is the main goal of this attack. Fraudsters look for holes in the back end of a website or web app and run malicious code through them. The second part is part of the request. After doing this, the fraudster not only gets into the target’s database but also has full control over it.

Most of the time, there are three ways to penetrate:

  • Errors on the website for e-commerce; 
  • Security holes in user code; 
  • Bugs in third-party modules.

To protect against this kind of attack reliably, you must keep a close eye on the SQL server. This will help you catch mistakes as soon as possible.

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Conclusion: What You Can Do To Prevent Phishing Attacks 2023

If you run a small business, it doesn’t mean that your attack surface is smaller or less interesting than that of a big business. Remember that phishing attacks can happen to anyone, and you should never assume that it won’t happen to you or anyone else in your organization.

Many scammers are taking advantage of the current pandemic that is sweeping the world. Phishing attempts are up by a whopping 350%, and they are hitting both businesses and people with the same force.

It would help to set up a proactive protection plan that includes investing in cybersecurity and theft protection tools and training employees on how to deal with phishing and other types of cyberattacks.

Putting in place active security measures can help stop attacks and reduce the chances of a breach. Putting a little more money into security now can save you money and your reputation in the long run.

Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. She is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Digiexe, a digital marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. She has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing & affiliate marketing too. She likes sharing her knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from ecommerce, startups, social media marketing, making money online, affiliate marketing to human capital management, and much more. She has been writing for several authoritative SEO, Make Money Online & digital marketing blogs like: ImageStation, & Newsmartwave

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