Fraud comes in many different forms, and scammers are always evolving their techniques to steal more corporate data. One of the most common types of fraud, known as phishing, is designed to exploit even the smallest misstep by you or your employees. These attacks are becoming more common, and the attackers are using stolen information to compromise valuable business systems for their own gain. So how can you keep your corporate data safe from potential scammers?
What is a phishing attack?
At the highest level, phishing attacks are attempts to trick victims into providing scammers with private information. Usernames and passwords, encryption keys and biometric info are just a few examples of the valuable information that these attacks can expose.
Phishing attacks are not new, but the methods have evolved over the years as new technologies, like the internet and mobile phones, have become more prevalent. The earliest phishing scams were conducted via the mail. Later, malicious phone calls were designed to steal credit card information or banks pins. Now, text messages and email can contain malicious links that direct you to a dangerous website or compromise your device.
Email Phishing Attacks Pose a Major Risk for Industry
Email phishing attacks are especially dangerous because they can be very effective. Scammers can develop emails that look almost exactly like they came from a legitimate vendor or customer. In many cases, valuable information or even cash is simply handed over to the attacker without a second thought.
Falling for one of these scams can be disastrous for your organization. The effects of these attacks can range from things as relatively minor as spamming others from your corporate domain, to ransomware that locks your corporate network until you pay a large sum of money. While the impacts of phishing attacks can be very severe, educating yourself and the members of your organization in identifying these attacks can make them far less likely to be successful.
How to Spot Phishing Attacks
Attackers are innovative, and their methods are always changing, but there are some key identifiers that can help you identify these deceptive attacks:
- Communications from known contacts that come from new addresses or phone numbers, especially those that do not match the domain (website.com) from previous communications with that company.
- A message that contains misspellings, poor grammar, poor formatting or looks suspicious.
- A message that only contains an image or a link, with no other text.
- The email greets you with a generic introduction, like “Hello Customer”.
- An email that seems urgent, for example, “send money now”.
- An email that asks for private information, like your username or password.
- An email that requests a wire transfer or other cash transfer, like Bitcoin.
Phishing emails and texts will provide an enticing story to try and get your attention, and they usually want you to act fast. Most cases of phishing are easy to identify if you educate yourself.
Protection from Phishing Attacks is Critical
Some phishing attacks are so well designed that even the most cautious employee can fall victim. However, if you have taken the right precautions you could still be safe. There are many ways to protect yourself, but at the very least you should be doing a few things:
- Keep your security software and operating systems up to date. This includes the software updates for company mobile devices and computers.
- Implement multi-factor authentication for your networks and applications to add and layer of extra security. Multi-factor authentication can take the form of a passcode sent to another device or utilize biometrics, like a fingerprint, on a mobile device.
- Have an effective data backup program in your corporate disaster recovery plan. Don’t forget offline backups because they can sometimes be your final defense against ransomware attacks.
Educating yourself is the best defense against phishing attacks. If someone is offering a deal that is too good to be true, it most likely is. If the request is very odd, like a request to wire money, it is best to reach out to that person directly to validate the message.
Increase Your Business’s Banking Security with ADM
At ADM, your security is our top concern. In addition to a secure online portal, ADM offers two-factor authentication, protected wiring instructions for your withdrawal requests, and an awesome client services team that will call you directly if any suspicious activity or requests arise.
At ADM, our team is our secret sauce, and we are always working hard to ensure your money and your data is safe. If you’re interested in the MOST protection for your corporate cash, reach out to a member of our team.
If you’re looking for even more valuable insights on banking, interest rates, and effectively managing your business cash, be sure to check out our Insights page and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.