When you run a company, your list of things to worry about becomes endless: budgets, meetings, client relations, payroll, company culture, and SO much more. But don’t forget about technology; it powers your company, keeps it running efficiently and allows for a constant stream of internal and external communication. But what happens when—and not if—your technology fails? BOOM. Your business could lose data, time and money. Sometimes, it takes more than just luck; it’s important to remain aware of the most common security threats, so you can be one step ahead of any irreversible disaster.
Sometimes, the biggest IT threats can sprout from your mailbox, and since email communication still reigns supreme, it’s the preferred ‘in’ for many cyber attackers. Company policies that allow employees to bring in their own devices or work remotely can boost productivity and job satisfaction, but they also have the potential to usher in an array of unlucky security threats.
Impersonating Your People
Cyber criminals will occasionally attempt to compromise your network by impersonating your company’s leadership. For example, messages can appear to be sent directly from the CEO’s email address, with the body of the email addressing your employee directly without a trace of malicious intent.
Once your employee opens the attached file and clicks on the link, an intruder can make way into your servers and attack them with malware instillations. Cyber criminals are getting increasingly better at deceiving users through this method, called spear-phishing, which involves using personalized emails tailored directly to the target. Using publicly available information, criminals can learn more about their targets in order to appear legitimate.
These attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to detect, so you can never be too careful. Encourage employees to think twice before downloading materials or clicking suspicious (or even unsuspicious) links. If you have any doubts about an email’s legitimacy, it never hurts to call the apparent sender for confirmation.
A False Sense of Urgency
Sometimes, an employee will receive a seemingly legitimate, “urgent” email from a colleague, requesting them to take immediate action. These messages are usually personalized, leading the employee to click the link and fall victim to another form of phishing attacks.
For this reason, it’s important to remain weary about messages that encourage you to act now, especially because criminals frequently tap into this vulnerability. It’s also helpful to look for slight misspellings in the sender’s domain and confirm questionable claims over the phone or face-to-face.
Prevent Criminals From Phishing In Your Water
As spear-phishing attacks become increasingly common and sophisticated, unfortunately, there are no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. It’s critical for business leaders and employees to take proactive measures.
Conducting a phishing simulation can help you evaluate your company’s preparedness for cyber crime. You can also set standards around sharing to teach your employees about what may be unsafe to share via email. For example, even if the sender is legitimate, an employee should still never share sensitive information through a digital medium.
Last but not least, the best way to avoid bad luck is to think before you click.