Your IT support in Milwaukee needs to constantly stay up-to-date with the latest security solutions to combat phishing and spear phishing. While phishing involves fooling email recipients with spoofed sites, spear phishing is a more elaborate scheme that targets specific individuals. Either way, your IT team must take proactive measures to prevent cybercriminals from disrupting business activities.
How SpearPhishing Works
One of the main differences between phishing and spear phishing is that phishing is an attempt to send multiple spoofed emails to random victims as part of a scheme to take over their computers and steal information. Spear phishing, however, is a much more thought out scheme that begins with collecting information about an individual, many times on social media. This method is usually more successful for the attacker and accounts for 91% of all cyber- attacks. The attacker may stalk an individual for months while learning facts about them through social media posts. It gives the attacker an edge to communicate with the victim through email with personalized language, creating a feeling of trust. The attacker’s goal is for the victim to click an unsuspecting malicious link. Hackers often encourage victims to act immediately in response to a security emergency. Once the malware is unleashed on a computer system, the attacker can then steal other confidential information.
At first, the attacker may not know much about the victim when he or she sends a friend request through Facebook. Many people add unknown friends to their Facebook accounts simply for the sake of building up stats. Once accepted as a friend, the intruder can learn the person’s email address, photos, geographic location, connections with other friends, place of employment and possibly information used by banks for security questions.
Steps To Prevent Spear Phishing Attacks:
- Be careful about the personal information you post online
- Use complex passwords with letters, numbers, and symbols
- Keep your software updated
- Avoid clicking links within emails
- Never give out your user name and password to anyone
- Use data loss prevention software
- Make Data Protection a Priority
It is imperative for your IT support team in Milwaukee to make data protection a top priority, regardless of the size of your account. No business can afford to alienate their customers and vendors when a major breach occurs. Getting sued by multiple entities can ultimately lead to the collapse of your company. Despite constant improvements in security software, cyber criminals are always learning new ways to outsmart even the most sophisticated systems.
The fact that credit bureau Equifax announced a massive breach in September 2017, affecting 143 million accounts, should send a warning signal to all organizations around the world. If a large financial institution can get hacked, anyone can. Not only must an IT team stay on top of monitoring your network for suspicious activity, you must train your staff to be aware of both phishing and spear phishing attacks.
The best way to avoid cyber-attacks is for your IT support team in Milwaukee and employees to take proactive measures, such as using multiple layers of protection and avoiding strange emails. If you need more advanced security to protect your business, contact us at Technology Resource Advisors, Inc. We provide modern cloud solutions at fixed monthly fees.