Phishing is, by some distance, the biggest security risk to businesses. For a little context, over 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent daily, accounting for around 1% of all emails sent worldwide.
But whilst you think you might have a handle on what a phishing email looks like, cybercriminals are constantly developing more sophisticated tactics to penetrate security systems and trick employees.
So, how do you prevent phishing emails from cracking your organisation’s data and systems open? Education.
Educating employees about what phishing attacks look like is one of the best deterrents and in this article, we explain the various types of phishing attacks to be wary of:
Email phishing attacks are the most common and well-known type of phishing.
Cybercriminals send deceptive emails impersonating legitimate individuals or organisations to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise security.
These emails often appear genuine, containing logos, email signatures, and other elements to deceive unsuspecting victims.
Whaling, also known as CEO fraud or business email compromise (BEC), is a sophisticated phishing attack targeting high-level executives or individuals with significant authority within an organisation.
Cybercriminals impersonate CEOs, CFOs, or other top-level executives to deceive employees into transferring funds, disclosing sensitive information, or performing other actions that result in financial loss or data breaches.
Whaling attacks often involve careful research and social engineering to create convincing scenarios.
Cybercriminals exploit the hierarchical structure of organisations, leveraging their authority and credibility to manipulate unsuspecting employees.
They may request urgent wire transfers, confidential data, or even the installation of malware.
To safeguard against whaling attacks, organisations should consider implementing the following measures:
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Smishing, or SMS phishing, involves sending fraudulent text messages to trick users into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
Smishing attacks typically involve messages that appear to be from a reputable source, such as a bank, service provider, or government agency.
These messages often contain urgent requests or warnings, creating a sense of urgency and prompting users to act quickly without careful consideration.
To protect against smishing attacks, it is essential to:
Vishing, or voice phishing, leverages voice communication channels, such as phone calls or voice messages, to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information.
These attacks often involve impersonating trusted entities, such as banks or government agencies, to instil a false sense of trust in the victim.
During a vishing attack, cybercriminals employ social engineering techniques to manipulate victims into disclosing personal information or performing actions compromising security.
They may create a sense of urgency, threaten dire consequences, or offer enticing rewards to coerce victims into compliance.
To protect against vishing attacks, it is crucial to:
Search engine phishing is a relatively new phishing technique that involves the fraudster creating a legitimate-looking website that features in search engine rankings - often in the 'shopping' section of a search query.
The website will typically offer amazing deals, but when the website user pays for their order, the products never arrive and the payment details might also be used for further fraudulent purposes.
With a huge variety of phishing attacks out there, it’s easy to see why it is the number one cause of data breaches.
Installing automatic anti-phishing filters can help to prevent around a quarter of phishing emails from reaching employees, but adequate cybersecurity training is essential to protect your business.
Bob’s Business’ award-winning phishing simulations help educate employees on the psychological principles utilised by phishing emails and communications in a safe environment.
Phishing awareness training empowers your team to take the best course of action to stop your company from falling victim to phishing fraudsters.
Learn more about how Bob's phishing simulation training can protect your business.