How to Recognize Phishing Attacks and Prevent Them
Thursday, July 8th 2021, 4:00 PM

Mobile Computer Services: How can businesses recognize and protect themselves from phishing attacks?

RALEIGH, United States - July 8, 2021 / Mobile Computer Services, Inc. (Raleigh) /

How to identify phishing scams and prevent them?  

Statistics have revealed that 90% of all data breaches can be traced back to phishing attacks. The average cost of a successful phishing attack to a medium-sized business is estimated at $1.6million. Mobile Computer Services, Inc. - a managed IT company - shares how to identify phishing scams and reduce the risk they pose.

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What is a phishing scam?

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack wherein a victim is duped into sharing confidential data, including login credentials, banking details, and other personal or business information with a hacker. Phishing can not only lead to significant financial loss but also cause loss of sensitive company information, such as revenue figures.

Traditionally carried out only via email, phishing scams are now being carried out via text message (smishing) and phone calls (vishing) as well. Moreover, spear-phishing – personalized phishing attacks on a particular target – has become rampant.

Ransomware - the Trojan horse

Besides gaining precious confidential information from the target, phishing scams can also be used to plant ransomware on a device. It is a form of malware that encrypts the data on the victim’s device disabling any access to all files and information. This is followed by a payment demand or a “ransom” by the cybercriminals to decrypt the data and provide access.

Ransomware is a dangerous malware that is capable of bringing even the largest organization to a standstill.

How to identify a phishing email?

  1. Language errors

A careful read of a message can reveal its authenticity. For instance, an email from the bank asking for personal information updates is unlikely to have grammatical and spelling mistakes. Or an untimely mail from a colleague with an unusual amount of language errors must be viewed with caution. 

Phishing emails can seem very genuine until a closer look reveals complex subdomains that mask the actual identity of the sender. One must refrain from clicking on the attachments on such links.

  1. A sense of urgency

A sense of urgency in a message takes away the attention from the telltale signs of inauthenticity. Hackers often use a sense of urgency by suggesting a hacked account that needs to be reset or by offering a time-specific promotion or reward. More often than not, this sense of urgency lures the victim into providing information without confirming the genuineness of the sender.

  1. Threats

Phishing victims may often receive messages threatening to reveal some information to others. This threatening message may demand personal information or simply carry an attachment that once opened will install ransomware on the device, locking all access to data. 

  1. Odd attachments

A simple rule to follow online - do not open an attachment contained in a mail from an unknown person or entity. An attachment with an unusual name or a URL that doesn’t begin with HTTPS and has no SSL certificate is not worth the click. 

6 steps to reduce the phishing risks 

Despite the awareness, some phishing messages may not have any tell-tale signs of being dangerous and fake. But there are certain steps businesses can take to protect themselves and their employees from phishing scams.

  1. Install email filters

Researching for an email provider that has effective spam and junk mail filters is worth the effort before making a choice. However, just an email filter is insufficient protection from malicious emails. 

In case of serious phishing concerns, the hyperlinks can be disabled on email settings but this will also block links from authentic senders. 

  1. Employ antivirus software

An up-to-date antivirus software protects a business from phishing attacks as well as other types of dangerous threats. Businesses can install antivirus software that is equipped with anti-phishing capabilities that will check links for authenticity and safety. However, it is important to regularly scan the devices as phishing scams may go unnoticed.  

  1. Utilize VPNs

If a business utilizes public WiFi connections to access sensitive information, an effective Virtual Private Network (VPN) can decrypt the data during the online activity and provide the much-needed security.

However, one must not access bank accounts or sensitive company information on an unsecured network as it heightens the risk of phishing attacks. 

  1. Educate employees

Lack of awareness leads to successful phishing scams. Educating employees is the first step to protecting the business. Simulated phishing tests are a great way to ensure that employees understand and recognize phishing scams. 

  1. Encrypt all sensitive data

Encryption of all sensitive information and files is another layer of defense against phishing. This information can only be decoded and accessed by personnel who have the sender’s cipher/key. Encryption can be carried out on a small or large scale depending upon the company's needs. Additionally, some modern operating systems (OS) have built-in encryption programs (such as OS X, Windows, Linux).

  1. Update company password

A policy of regular password change is advised to protect the company's information. But this must be enforced without fail when there has been a security breach or an equally compromising situation. Ideally, passwords should be strong, long, and use two-step or multi-factor verification. 

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Why Mobile Computer Services?

Mobile Computer Services is a professional IT services company that works with small and medium-sized businesses in Raleigh NC. The services include:

  1. Managed IT services - 24x7 proactive monitoring and management of the company's IT infrastructure.
  2. Network services: Comprehensive care for the network systems provided by certified technicians.
  3. Business continuity planning: Get the business back on its feet swiftly during and after disasters.
  4. IT consulting: High-caliber advice from professional consultants to help achieve business goals.
  5. Security: Safeguard business from malicious hackers and cyber attacks.
  6. On-demand services: Day or night, the dedicated support staff is always available to assist.
  7. Office move: Professional office relocation and network cabling services.
  8. VoIP: Reduce telecom expenses and improve communications with powerful phone systems.
  9. Email protection: Protect mail systems from spam and malware.

Contact Mobile Computer Services, Inc. at Raleigh NC today at (919) 830-9448 to find out about its Managed IT services.  

Contact Information:

Mobile Computer Services, Inc. (Raleigh)

8009 CREEDMOOR RD Ste 200
RALEIGH, NC 27613
United States

Kara Mason
(919) 830-9448
https://www.ncmobilecomputerservices.com

Original Source: https://www.ncmobilecomputerservices.com/media-room-raleigh/

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We provide managed IT support services, preventative maintenance, and 24/7 network monitoring to proactively protect your business from unexpected downtime.

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Kara Mason
Mobile Computer Services, Inc. (Raleigh)

8009 CREEDMOOR RD
RALEIGH, NC, 27613, United States

Phone (919) 830-9448

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