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Want to Secure Your Business from Phishing Attacks? Do These 6 Things Now
It’s a busy Thursday afternoon and business is humming. Orders are getting filled, customers are making more purchases, and the weekend is in sight. It’s been a good week and you’re starting to relax. Suddenly, the head of IT rushes into your office, a worried look on her face. She quickly explains that an employee got fooled by a phishing attack and now your confidential data and IT systems are at risk!
You already know the stakes. The average phishing attack costs $200,000 per attack and colleagues have been put out of business because of cyberattacks. Now, the race is on. Can you mitigate the damage and protect your data and other assets?
Protecting Your Business from Phishing Attacks
Sadly, the above scenario is all too common. It’s estimated that 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent out each day. And 43% of cyberattacks are focused on small businesses. Hackers likely go after small businesses because just 14% of said businesses are prepared for an attack.
Today, we’d like to focus on phishing, a common type of cyberattack. With phishing, hackers will send fake emails and other digital communications from seemingly reputable companies, asking for login details and other confidential information. Once obtained, hackers can then use this information to access your IT systems and confidential data.
Let’s take a look at six measures you can take to reduce the risk of phishing attacks.
Increase Your Company’s IT Infrastructure Security
First, you need to harden your IT infrastructure by implementing security measures, including:
- Outlining procedures and protocols to discourage employees from making mistakes
- Installing or upgrading your firewall
- Ensuring your website, server, and operating systems are up to date
- Using anti-spy and anti-virus software
- Installing a spam filter
- Making sure cookies are regularly deleted
A lot more goes into securing your IT infrastructure. As a managed service provider, we frequently work with small businesses, helping them mitigate security risks. Rather than pushing cookie cutter solutions, we can help you analyze and understand your specific needs. Then, we can work with you to implement custom policies and tools that will address the risks.
Make Sure Your Website is Secured
One common mistake companies make is using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) instead of the more secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS will encrypt data transfers between servers and clients (i.e. users), making transfers more secure.
As a 360 IT services provider, we can work closely with our clients to ensure their website is protected from attacks.
Train Your Employees
It’s estimated that at least 90 percent of attacks are successful because of human error. That’s why it’s important to train your employees and to ensure that they know the risks and what to watch for. Many people simply don’t realize how common phishing attacks are. Even those who do struggle to identify phishing emails.
Employee training and knowledge sharing is a vital component of IT security. That’s why we created our free Security Awareness Training that is designed specifically for all your non-technical employees and is meant to minimize human error. This is the information that we share with all our client and now it is available to your team for free.
Make Sure Employees Pay Close Attention to the Subject Line
Scammers try to catch people’s attention with gripping, must-act-now subject lines. They want to evoke an emotional urgency and try to get people to act before they think. Phishing attempts usually include subject lines like:
- Your Account May Have Been Breached
- We’ve Noticed Suspicious Activity on Your Account
- You Must Confirm Your Details Immediately or Your Account Will Be Closed
Make sure everyone on staff who gets an email with a subject line like this informs their supervisor or the IT department.
Always Verify the Sender and Website
Another way hackers trick people is to include links that send users to an authentic looking website that asks them to login. Once users submit their credentials, the hackers have access to it. In order to prevent this, every time an employee gets an email asking for any details or to log into something, they should check with their supervisor and/or IT.
Then, both parties should work together to confirm that the email is real. Often, the URLs and websites will appear authentic but upon closer inspection you’ll notice incorrect spelling, fake logos, and other red flags.
IT Security is a Serious Risk but a Managed Service Provider Can Help
If you follow the above steps, you’ll reduce security risks. However, scammers are clever and constantly developing new tactics. That’s why you need to partner with a managed service provider that is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Get in touch and we’ll help you mitigate cybersecurity risks.
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