One of the most important services provided by professional IT services in Orange County is protection against phishing.
For the security of your business and the protection of your clients, you need to understand bother what phishing is and how CloudStep can help protect you against it.
What is Phishing?
In simplest terms, phishing refers to the act of attempting to gather personal information using deceptive websites and emails. It is a sophisticated type of cyber attack. It attempts to “hook” the target into “biting”. Cybercriminals achieve this by simply using email accounts that are compromised, or by spoofing the sender’s email address.
In a phishing cyber attack, the attackers masquerade as a trusted entity – a bank, the police, the tax department, a friend, or a trusted brand. The weapon is a disguised email. It attempts to deceive the email recipient into believing that the message is something they should respond to. It may be delivered in many forms, including:
- A note from someone in their company
- A request from their bank
- An alert from a professional entity
- A special deal from a brand they support
Phishing attacks include an instruction to click a link or download a malicious attachment – and doing so will result in a security breach.
Phishing is not new – it dates back more than twenty years – however, it is becoming more widespread and increasingly sophisticated.
Types of Phishing
Phishing aims to achieve one of two things – to elicit the victim to hand over sensitive information or to download malware.
- Deceptive Phishing – criminals impersonate a legitimate domain or sender in order to steal login or PIN credentials. It relies on a high number of targets so that a sufficient number of those targeted will respond. This includes banking and social media emails that are sent to encourage the recipient to update passwords in response to a fake threat.
- Spear Phishing – these are more personalized attacks which still seek to lure the recipient into clicking a malicious attachment or URL. The sender customizes to target’s name, title, company, and may even mention business or personal connections. This information is often gleaned from social media and business networking sites.
- Whale Phishing – this targets a business’s leadership to collect executives’ login credentials. If successful, the criminals may then impersonate the executive or CEO and authorize payments, wire transfers, or other actions that are significant to a business
- Educate your employees with regards to safe secure digital practices
- Check URL spelling in email links before clicking
- Be alert to URL redirects to fraudulent websites
- Don’t reply to suspicious emails, even from a sender you trust
- Avoid posting personal data including birth date, address, phone number, or vacation plans publicly on social media.
- Partner with an expert managed services provider local to you
CloudStep Can Help
As a top IT services Irvine provider, CloudStep is your perfect partner for all aspects of managing IT for your company, including protection against phishing. Contact us today on (949) 284-1555.