The Unrelenting Rise of PHISHING !
Fishing, already one of the world’s top participation sports, has again grown in popularity since the onset of Covid but unfortunately pales into insignificance compared to the unprecedented rise of Phishing Attacks on businesses during the same period.
Recent UK Government statistics tell us 65% of businesses have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months, with Phishing Attacks the stand out weapon of choice for criminals to steal data/information or extort money.
What is Phishing ?
Phishing is where attackers use multiple attack routes (email, mobile, social media, telephones, text message etc) to trick users into taking an action eg click a link for example, which provides them with the opportunity to steal, corrupt or hold a company to randsom.
Steps to Mitigate and Minimise ?
Following some basic steps will give your business some greater protection, including;
1. TRAINING – Implement staff training and security awareness programmes. In-House or trusted IT partners can provide staff ongoing training included regular unannounced simulated phishing exercises.
2. ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE – Use reputable and up to date Anti-Virus software
3. FIREWALLS – Use Desktop and Network Firewalls – have professionally configured and managed.
4. BROWSER – Keep it up to date with all new security patches to ensure newly identified loopholes are closed.
5. POP UPS – Remain vigilant of ALL pop-ups, even if they look legitimate.
6. SITE SECURITY – verify the security of a site before you use it.
7. PERSONAL INFORMATION – where possible share as little personal information on the internet you can.
8. PASSWORDS – implement and follow password security guidelines (complex / three random words)
9. MFA – a basic security requirement (no caveats)
10. THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK – “act in haste repent at leisure” – any time you feel under pressure to act or respond quickly should be considered a red flag to take a breath.
Finally, where people are involved we will always be subject to human error and so when all else fails and in anticipation of a successful breach – HAVE A PLAN, PREPARED IN ADVANCE, so you can take the right actions, in a timely manner, to minimise losses and disruption.
To find out more about ways you can assess your vulnerabilities and improve your cyber security readiness get in touch.