Fishing out Phishing Scams and How to Protect Your Business

Did you know there were 6.3 million phishing emails sent to companies in the United States in Q1 of 2016 alone? Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by the internet – our work computer, home computer, and our cell phones and tablets. Its constant use in our society and businesses means greater access and greater exposure for ourselves and companies. Businesses must always be alert about their network security, whether it is a point of vulnerability that requires patching or employee awareness of email phishing scams. As a business, it is important to educate your employees on email phishing scams and as an IT department, it is important to understand why an email phishing service is a necessary security check and the benefits of having it in place.

What is Email Phishing?

Indiana University defines email phishing as “fraudulent email messages appearing to come from legitimate enterprises.” The tech-savvy will take advantage of vulnerable people and companies using spam, fake websites, fake emails and more to bait you in and gain access to personal information. This can ruin your credit, cause your business to lose money or result in identity theft.

Why Your Business Needs an Email Phishing Service

Businesses should have efficient spam filters put into place for security purposes, but shouldn’t solely rely on them to deter email phishing scams. Employees should be educated on how to identify a suspicious email and what to do when one is identified. Inform employees not to click on any links that they view as suspicious. Instead, they should report the suspicious message to their IT department who can then report it to the proper authority.

If your employees have access to sensitive company information, an email phishing service is necessary. A phishing service keeps your company and employees knowledgeable about potential email phishing scams, making it less likely that you would ever fall victim to it. Phishing and security experts will be able to test your employees’ awareness and reaction to a scam while consulting on best practices to get maximum results. This information will help guide you to the next steps in taking action in your security program to protect your company, employees and assets.

Email phishing services will decrease the Phish-prone percentage of your employees, take the burden off of your IT team all while saving you time, money and giving you a sense of security for your business.

A Closer Look at Email Phishing

Earlier this year, seven companies in two months were successfully targeted by email phishing experts. Seagate was the seventh business that complied with handing over W-2 forms for 2015 for all current and former employees within the United States. According to CSO, who provides news and research on a range of security topics, the goal of this email phishing scam was tax fraud. The W-2s could have been used to file fraudulent tax returns or amended tax returns. The affected employees were asked to file their returns as soon as possible.

Etna Industrie was also a victim of an email phishing scam referred to as CEO fraud. According to Carole Gratzmuller, CEO, Etna Industrie, told BBC, “My accountant was called and told ‘You are going to get an email from the president, and she’s going to [send] instructions to conduct a very confidential transaction and you’re going to have to respond to whatever instructions she gives to you.” The employee was then emailed from what she thought was Gratzmuller’s email address, unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Within one hour of phone and email communications, the employee transferred $542,000 to foreign bank accounts, with some being held by the bank. Ultimately, Gratzmuller got the money back, but this shows how quickly an email phishing scam can happen and nearly destroy a company.

Don’t Become a Victim

Don’t fall victim to email phishing. When it comes to your business and employees, take all the necessary steps and precautions to protect yourself against scams. Just one click or one employee response can release protected information that can ruin not only that employee’s livelihood, but all other employees’ and your business. Inform employees and IT departments of what to look for and why an email phishing service should be implemented. Make sure employees have security training at the core of their induction to the company, with regular revisions and updates through their employment.

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