What is a Phishing Attack?

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Cyber attacks of all types have become an increasing problem in businesses across the nation. Cybercriminals are becoming progressively sophisticated in their tactics, making it difficult to detect scams. However, the end goal remains the same with such attacks—gaining access to a system to steal sensitive information and data.

In order to keep up with these threats, businesses need to understand what these attacks look like and how to prevent them from affecting their productivity. One report proved that between 2020 and 2021, attacks on cybersecurity increased by 31%. By learning to recognize the signs, you can stay a step ahead of malicious hackers.

We’ll review one specific type of attack called whaling phishing that is threatening cybersecurity across all industries.

What is a Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a scam where cyber criminals attempt to steal personal information by impersonating a trustworthy entity like a well-known business or friend. They often do this by sending an email that looks very official and contains a link or attachment that will download malware onto the recipient’s computer.

Once the malware is installed, the hacker can gain access to the system and steal sensitive information like passwords, social security numbers, and credit card information. Data from CISCO showed that 90% of data compromise was caused by phishing.

Avoiding these false links and data traps will save your business countless hours of stress and data recovery. Work to understand the signs and indicators to prevent different types of phishing attacks.

Different Types of Phishing Attacks

There are several types of phishing attacks out there, and each of them have different characteristic traits. Some common groups include spear phishing, whaling, vishing, and pharming.

One specific attack called whaling phishing is directed at high-level executives within a company. The attacker will research the company and target specific individuals with emails that look very official and contain sensitive information.

The goal of whaling phishing is to steal confidential data or financial information by impersonating executives. This type of scam is also known as CEO fraud or Business Email Compromise (BEC).

Preventing Whaling Phishing Attacks

There are several red flags that you can look for to determine if an email is part of a whaling phishing attack. One way to tell is if the email address looks legitimate but has slight inconsistencies. Another sign to look for is if the email contains a sense of urgency or asks you to click on a link to input personal information.

Whaling phishing emails also tend to have grammar mistakes, as well as poor design. Attention to detail is crucial, and recognizing anything that looks slightly off can save your company from experiencing a data breach.

If an email looks suspicious, do not open it! Instead, contact the sender through another method to verify the authenticity of the message. With an IT solutions company, you can enlist professional help to prevent cases of phishing attacks from happening to your company.

Partner with Fresh Managed IT to Combat Cyber Attacks

A data breach can be extremely stressful for your business. Not only is the company’s data at risk but the trust of the customers may be lost as well. Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common and successful and can cost a business significant amounts of money.

By allowing Fresh Managed IT to handle your IT needs, they’ll ensure that your email communications remain safe. Contact us today to get started!