Impacts of Spam and Phishing on Small Business
Impact of Spam and Phishing on Small Business – Benefits of Protection
We are all victims of receiving email spam and phishing. The likelihood of one individual to click on one of these many messages means that businesses are vulnerable to viruses or malware from a phishing attack. You can think of phishing emails at the bottom of a funnel that starts with email, narrows to spam email and then phishing. Spam emails are primarily annoying advertisements that go to a mass number of subscribers, however phishing emails are usually sent without a subscription and tend to be more malicious.
Many phishing emails are hard to discern from less damaging emails. Sometimes, they will even come from an email address that the recipient is familiar. This type of phishing is known as spear phishing. The message will have either a link to click or an attachment. Phishing emails are sent in the hopes of gaining access to confidential data. For the noncritical eye, the message could look important and like something they should take action on.
Phishing is very common and represents about 13 percent of overall Cyber crime. (link)
Loss of Data
The biggest impact of a successful email attacks is that the data stored by that company is no longer safe. Identity theft happens frequently because criminals are able to buy and sell information on the black market. This information is sourced from a phishing attack.
Sometimes, this data can be vital to the success of the company and a lot of money has been invested into the gathering of it. When it is stolen in a phishing email attack, the cost for the business can be in the billions of dollars.
Many complex phishing sites are made to look like a legitimate website. People might shy away from using the real website if they are concerned it might be fake. In addition, the business that fell target to the phishing attack might lose the valuable trust they have gained of their customers.
It is often a game of cat and mouse to stay ahead of email phishing attacks. Where traditional spam filters might have been enough before, that is no longer the case. There are security systems that have been specifically designed to prevent phishing attacks from being successful.
The first thing a business can do is train their employees to recognize a phishing attack. This means examining closely the email recipient, file, or a website URL. While it might look legitimate, there are some clear clues that it is not. The email will have inconsistencies in the link, will ask for private information, or will look similar, but not identical, to an organization the individual interacts with.
The other decision to make a comprehensive block against phishing attacks is to invest in email security solutions. That are designed to prevent phishing attacks and block actions when they might occur.
Phishing attacks are big business. Email spams are are not going away anytime soon and it is up to the business to stay proactive and minimize issues in the first place. Just remember that the malicious use of technology is always one step ahead and you will be in a good place when it comes to protecting the business, the brand, and confidential data.