Identifying Phishing Attacks: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats
In today’s digital landscape, one of the most significant threats to businesses is ransomware, and the primary way it infiltrates organizations is through phishing emails. These deceptive emails, crafted to appear legitimate, can deceive even cautious employees, with approximately 80% of them falling victim to phishing attacks. Cybercriminals behind these scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with over 1.5 million new phishing sites emerging each month and a staggering 70% increase in attacks in 2018 compared to the previous year.
To safeguard your business from phishing attacks, it’s essential to be vigilant and aware of potential red flags. Here are key indicators to help you spot a phishing email:
- Verify the Sender’s Email Address:
Always double-check the sender’s email address for legitimacy. Some hackers use Gmail or Hotmail accounts to deceive recipients. Advanced attackers may mimic official email domains, such as amazon-online.com instead of amazon.com. Take a moment to verify the email address before responding or clicking any links.
- Discrepancies in Writing Format:
Phishing attacks from overseas may display minor discrepancies in writing format, such as date formats. Be attentive to these subtleties, as they can indicate a potential scam.
- Grammar and Spelling Issues:
Pay attention to grammar and spelling mistakes in the email, as legitimate organizations typically maintain a higher standard of written communication. Frequent errors may raise suspicion of a phishing attempt.
- Sender Name:
Be cautious of generic sender names used in phishing emails to avoid detection. Familiarize yourself with regular senders, or at the very least, understand their roles within the organization.
- Check Link Destination:
Before clicking on any links, hover your cursor over them to reveal the destination URL. Verify the legitimacy of the domain name before proceeding.
- Exercise Caution with Attachments:
Only open attachments from expected and trusted sources. Ransomware often hides within attachments, so exercise caution if you weren’t anticipating receiving one.
- Examine Email Design:
Unusual font choices or inconsistent email design can be telltale signs of a phishing attempt.
- Avoid Clicking on Links to Verify Information:
Refrain from clicking on any links to verify or update information. Instead, go directly to the organization’s website and make updates through the appropriate channels.
- Scrutinize Logo Use:
Phishing attempts often mimic an organization’s look and feel but may have slight discrepancies. Trust your instincts if something appears amiss.
While no method guarantees complete protection against phishing attacks, understanding these indicators can enhance your defenses. To bolster your organization’s cybersecurity, consider providing ongoing training for your employees. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us. Attend our next lunch and learn event to learn more about safeguarding your business from cyber threats. RSVP now to secure your spot.