PHISHING HAS TURNED EMAILS INTO A VIRTUAL MINEFIELD.

Phishing has turned emails into a viral minefield. Emailing has become so ingrained in our daily lives it’s hard to imagine functioning without it, especially if you’re a business owner. While email has been the biggest advancement in communication since the telephone, cyber criminals have used “phishing” to turn electronic mail into a virtual minefield. 

Aptly named, phishing uses emails like a baited hook, hoping to get a bite from an unexpecting  victim. Most attempts fail, but that’s why so many phishing emails are sent out. Even if only one out of a 100 take the bait, it’s a win for the criminals.

Usually the emailer is pretending to be a trusted person or company that offers some type of benefit to the recipient, or a solution to a made-up problem. For instance, a phishing email may pretend to be a company you do business with in order to steal a password or credit card information.

Phishing has been around since the days of dialup Internet and has continued to evolve ever since. Hackers learn to adapt their attacks, becoming more sophisticated and harder to thwart. Unfortunately, businesses big and small are targeted by these forms of cyber attack, leaving devastating damage in their wake.

Below are types of phishing attacks that businesses are most susceptible to.

STEAL SENSITIVE INFORMATION

Oftentimes phishing attacks are trying to trick you into giving them access to sensitive information. This can be passwords, banking info, social security numbers, payroll, etc.

A very common form of this scam is a fake email from a bank people know and trust. By spamming out millions of phishing emails, the cyber criminals are guaranteed to reach customers of the bank. The hackers will sometimes go so far as to add a link to a fake website made to resemble the bank’s, in hopes of someone entering their username and password.

SPREAD MALWARE

These types of phishing emails aim to infect a victim’s computer or a network with malware. Once downloaded, the malware can shut down computers and/or steal sensitive information. 

Businesses often fall victim to these attacks by what is known as “soft targeting.” Instead of sending out to a mass of people indiscriminately, soft targeted emails aim to infect a group of individuals with malware, like a business. A seemingly normal email could be sent to the head of HR, purporting to contain an attached resume. Once the resume is clicked, embedded code in the document or zip file can infect the computer or network with malware.

Phishing has turned emails into a viral minefield. If you’re a business owner, you can’t afford to let your guard down for a second. Cyber criminals attack Jacksonville businesses every day. All it takes is one successful attack to hurt your business and cause irreparable damage. Protect yourself and your business by calling the cyber security pros at Workforce IT of Jacksonville today. 904.638.8406.