A recent report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that 57.8 million dollars was lost to phishing attacks in 2019, marking phishing as the most common internet crime.
Now, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has opened the door for cybercriminals to target people with phishing scams related to the virus such as fake stimulus emails, fake emails from the World Health Organization looking for COVID-related donations, and other malicious attachments and links concerning COVID-19.
In simplest terms, phishing is manipulating people into performing a specific action via an email. The action could be to click to reset a password, open a malicious attachment, or click a link to a malicious site that gives hackers access to credentials or networks.
Typically, cybercriminals begin phishing with low-level employees, sending emails that appear trustworthy but direct them to a scam site where they are prompted to log in.
Once the scammers have access to the employee account, they can move laterally by sending new emails to that employee’s admin contact. After the admin is compromised, then the hackers move to the company’s network and beyond.
For most companies, the best way to protect against phishing is to prevent it from being successful.
The Most Common Phishing Attacks and How to Prevent Them
There are many types of phishing attacks hackers use to try and get employees to hand over credentials or click links that exposure your network to malware.
Six of the Most Common Types of Phishing
While phishing threats come in many varieties, the most common include:
Deceptive Phishing — This is the most common phishing scam. Cybercriminals imitate a legitimate company to get people to give up their personal data or login credentials.
Spear Phishing — Common on social media, this scam embraces use personalized emails to trick the recipient into thinking they have a connection with the sender.
CEO Phishing — This scam targets top-level management to obtain authorization to access financial information.
Vishing — This attack uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to impersonate different entities to steal funds or sensitive data.
Smishing — Smishing uses fraudulent text or SMS messages to trick recipients into clicking malicious links or giving out personal information.
Pharming — This attack targets a DNS server to change the IP address of a legitimate site to redirect users to a malicious site.
Understanding the various ways hackers can make inroads to your network using phishing schemes is the first step in preventing some of the most common attacks.
The next step? Educating employees on how to spot these attacks.
Phishing Prevention Using Education and Managed IT
Deploying a managed IT program in your organization can help you protect against phishing attacks by ensuring network hardware and software is current with the latest patches and upgrades — and that critical maintenance is up to date.
Managed IT keeps businesses abreast as cyberthreats evolve, encouraging more preparedness — and better security. One innovative new way managed services providers (MSPs) are tackling phishing is through education and knowledge.
Cutting-edge software like KnowBe4 provides security training combined with simulated attacks to manage the rising tide of social engineering cyber attacks.
Through training with best in class simulated attacks, KnowBe4 can reduce the likelihood of a phishing scam succeeding in your business by 33% in just a year.
Comprehensive Managed IT from Perry proTECH Offers Phishing Protection
The managed IT experts at Perry proTECH are always looking for ways to help businesses protect their IT environment — from employee to endpoint and beyond.
That is why we have partnered with industry leading phishing-prevention software KnowBe4 to offer our clients the best chance of avoiding falling victim to dangerous and expensive phishing attacks.
With enterprise-level analysis and reporting using statistics and graphs for greater clarity, KnowBe4 is a cutting-edge tool that helps you promote security awareness among staff for better data security.
Using a combination of typical managed IT safeguards alongside the powerful results provided by awareness training like KnowBe4, our team can keep your data safer and more secure than ever.
Knowledge and training provide superior protection against phishing scams. Contact a Perry proTECH consultant today and learn how our Managed IT program can help your business stay protected.