Phishing attacks had come a long way from the classic Nigerian Prince scam (which still rakes in over $700,000 per year!) Last week, the Bleeping Computer reported a new type of attack involving customer complaint messages.
Cybercriminals send fake emails, pretending to be a “corporate lawyer” of the company. Playing on the fear and interest of unsuspecting employees, they use subject lines like “Re: customer complaint in [Your company].” The emails look convincing enough. Even people who don’t fall for it click on the links for the sake of curiosity.
From here, the user is instructed to download a PDF that contains a malicious executable file. One download and the file injects itself into the Windows OS and connects to the hacker’s remote command server. It allows them to gain access to network data and inflict further damage.
These Attacks Are More Common Than You Think
This month’s attack may be from a “corporate lawyer.” But it demonstrates the more substantial threat that phishing poses in general. 91% of all hacks start with an email. And even if you would never fall for this one, even cybersecurity experts admit phishing attempts have fooled them.
Phishing can take many forms. Sometimes attacks may pretend to be senior-level staff asking for contact information. Or they may set up imitations of web pages that look identical to the real sites where users input login credentials.
In some cases, they may even use spear phishing techniques to target vulnerable companies directly. Then hackers use this information to launch ransomware attacks. These lock firms out of essential files until they pay a considerable ransom fee.
In the current business climate, no company can afford to be the victim of phishing or another form of cyber-attack. It’s time to start protecting your business.
How To Out-Smart Hackers and Other Threats
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure when it comes to warding off cybercriminals. Businesses must recognize areas that make them vulnerable and take steps to protect themselves.
The internet is your firm’s channel to the open world. And while it is essential for communication, research, marketing, and more, it’s also where the vast majority of threats come from.
The most crucial measure is safeguarding internet connections and remote access to business platforms. That’s what a virtual private network (VPN) is for. A VPN encrypts all internet activity, ensuring that hackers can’t launch man-in-the-middle attacks.
Next, invest in email security tools like anti-spam filters, web firewalls, and other software solutions. They can prevent phishing emails from showing up in your inbox in the first place.
Ensure that all employees, no matter the department, know how to recognize phishing emails. They should also practice caution opening any email, even if sent by a known contact.
Moreover, make sure everyone in your company scans all files and links before downloading or clicking on them. It is the best way to ensure a file is legitimate and doesn’t contain any malware.
If an employee is ever unsure about an email, they should always verify the sender is who they claim to be before taking any action on it.
Following The Best Security Practices
The right security apps and strategies protect you from cyber dangers. They also ensure the health of your data in the event of hardware failure or data loss.
And it starts with the basics — securing all accounts with unique and complex passwords. The easiest way to do this is with password managers.
Likewise, create both local and cloud-backups for all essential files and resources. And don’t leave the data in the open. Use encryption tools to ensure only authorized personnel has access to them.
Then if hackers ever do manage to penetrate your network, they won’t be able to get their hands on anything important.
New Phishing Attacks, Same Old Problem
Whether it’s a fake customer complaint, a message from the tax authorities, or any other phishing attack, it’s always the same problem. These attacks will never go away. They only become more complex and sophisticated as time goes on.
That’s why you should invest in the right cybersecurity education and tools for both yourself and your employees. So much of it is free or extremely affordable! Arm yourself with knowledge and the right software. It’s time to protect your company from phishing and all other types of dangerous cyber-attacks.