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Why you need to protect your organisation from smishing attacks

09 March, 2023

Have you ever received a text message from a bank or a company asking you to verify your personal information or account details?

If you have, you might have been a target of smishing, a type of phishing attack that uses text messages to trick you into divulging sensitive information.

Smishing is a growing threat to businesses, and organisations need to be aware of this type of attack and take steps to protect themselves.

What is smishing?

Smishing is a social engineering attack where an attacker sends a text message that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or a company, asking the recipient to click on a link or provide personal information.

The link usually leads to a fake website that looks like the real one, and once the victim enters their information, the attacker can use it to steal their identity or commit other types of fraud.

These types of attacks have gone stratospheric over the last 12 months, with 2022 seeing a record number of attacks, amounting to half of mobile phone owners worldwide seeing an attack every single quarter.

What are smishing simulations?

Smishing is a severe threat to businesses, as it can result in data breaches, financial loss, and damage to reputation.

As a result, many organisations are turning to smishing simulations to test their employees' awareness of this type of attack and to train them to recognise and respond appropriately to smishing attempts.

Smishing simulations, like phishing simulations, are designed to mimic real-life attacks and are typically conducted using a software platform that sends simulated attacks to employees' mobile phones.

The messages are designed to look like real smishing messages and contain links that lead to fake websites or ask the recipient to provide personal information.

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By conducting smishing simulations, businesses can identify weaknesses in their security systems and train their employees to recognise and respond appropriately to smishing attempts.

For example, employees can be taught to check the sender's phone number and website URL before clicking on any links or entering any personal information.

Example case: Coinbase attack

Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange, experienced a smishing attack targeting its employees this year. The attackers sent text messages to multiple Coinbase employees, pretending to be from the company's IT department, requesting that the employees reset their two-factor authentication (2FA) tokens.

The messages included a link leading to a fake website resembling Coinbase's legitimate 2FA page. When the employees entered their login credentials on the fake website, the attackers could steal their usernames, passwords, and 2FA tokens.

Fortunately, Coinbase quickly identified the attack and took measures to prevent further damage.

The company notified all affected employees and reset their 2FA tokens. Coinbase also launched an internal investigation to determine the scope of the attack and identify any further vulnerabilities in their security systems.

Other steps your organisation can take to protect itself from smishing attacks

In addition to smishing simulations, there are other steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from smishing attacks. These include:

  • Implementing two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring the user to provide a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to their phone, in addition to their password.
  • Use anti-malware software: Anti-malware software can help to detect and prevent smishing attacks by identifying malicious links and blocking them before they can cause harm.
  • Educating employees: It's important to educate employees about the risks of smishing and to provide them with training on recognising and responding appropriately to smishing attempts.

In conclusion, smishing is a growing threat to businesses, and organisations need to take steps to protect themselves from this type of attack.

Smishing simulations are an effective way to train employees to recognise and respond appropriately to smishing attempts.

By conducting regular smishing simulations, businesses can identify weaknesses in their security systems and train their employees to be more cautious when receiving text messages that ask for personal information.

Remember, it only takes one employee to fall for a smishing attack for an entire organisation to be compromised.

How Bob’s Business can help your organisation

At Bob's Business, we understand the importance of cybersecurity for all industries, including protecting against smishing attacks.

That's why we offer unique and engaging online cybersecurity training designed to empower everyone in your team to identify and respond to cyber threats, protecting your business from the 90% of breaches that occur due to human error.

Our training is bite-sized, interactive, and easily fits your busy schedule. Plus, it's engaging, ensuring your team stays motivated and focused throughout the process.

Take action now to protect your business and your customers from cyber threats. Click here to discover our range of cybersecurity awareness training products and start reducing your risk today.

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