Scam emails known as “phishing” have become incredibly popular in recent years, even though they have been a constant problem since the initial availability of email. Modern phishing attempts are cleverly crafted to not only look like they are coming from a legitimate business but can often even mimic the sending name of organizations that a business might work with every single day. As you might imagine, one slip up from an employee could mean a significant loss for a company.
Phishing can be a massive problem for businesses, even if they have a cybersecurity plan in place. This scamming method is often the leading proponent for malware, data breaches, and other minor scams like requests for gift cards or money orders. However, phishing remains popular because it is so inexpensive and remains one of the most effective ways to scam both individuals and businesses. But what tangible ways do phishing attempts harm businesses, and what can be done to ensure they aren’t effective?
The Real Cost of Phishing Attempts
Nearly 80% of all IT security incidents are derived from phishing attempts, according to a study from CSO. With this in mind, businesses should be working with their employees and IT teams to ensure that phishing attempts are thwarted as soon as possible. Without making this a priority, the cybersecurity and business continuity plan would be incomplete, and phishing will continue to be an effective process for scammers. Some of the common ways that phishing may occur include:
- Fake Order or Shipping Emails
- Spoofed Vendor Emails Asking for Payment Information
- Fake File Sharing from Microsoft Asking Users to Login
- Emails Threatening Account Deletion if Updates Are Not Made
While just a small sample of standard forms of phishing, at least one of them will likely be adequate enough to catch someone within your own business off-guard. Unfortunately, when this happens, many other new problems are possible, including ransomware infections, data loss, productivity loss and much more. Ransomware alone can cost around $700k on average for a business – and that is even when the ransom isn’t paid!
Malware can often also be delivered through a link within a phishing email that instantly downloads a file onto an employee’s computer when the page loads. In a study from UpGuard, the global cost of data breaches in 2021 is anticipated to reach around $6 trillion, nearly double the amount it was in 2015. To put this statistic into perspective, that is roughly $3,533 per employee. Fortunately, these long-term consequences and monetary damages can be avoided with suitable systems and training in place.
Protecting Your Business from Phishing Attempts
While there are no ways to eliminate phishing attempts from happening altogether, there are some best practices that businesses can keep in mind to protect their data or systems. All employees should be trained on cybersecurity awareness and should actively be using antivirus and anti-phishing email filters. In addition to this, firewalls, anti-malware software and web protection should be added to every device with access to your networks.
Small Enterprise Technology (SET) provides security and compliance services that utilize integrated antivirus solutions and End Point Detection and Response (EDR) to actively monitor, manage and update client devices. Ultimately, this ensures that your business remains as protected and secure as possible. To learn more about how SET can help your business stay protected from phishing attempts, call us at (918) 965-0045 or contact us today!