IT services Orange County, cyber security Orange CountyAccording to a recent report, 91% of cyber attacks and resulting data breaches started with a spear-phishing email. What’s more, spear-phishing campaigns have gone up by 55%. At the same time, losses from compromised business emails are up by 1300%. These are the reasons why IT services experts in Orange County focus on mitigating the dangers posed by email phishing.

What exactly are email phishing and spear phishing, and what steps can you take to reduce the danger to your organization?

Get Informed

The first step toward empowering your organization and reducing the threat is to understand the nature of the threat. By learning how the attacks take place and how to recognize them, you can reduce your vulnerability. You might also hire an IT Services provider in Orange County to implement security policies that will help protect your business against phishing.

Phishing

Much like it sounds, phishing is ‘fishing’ for vulnerable human targets. Hackers can get sensitive data like credit cards, banking details, or passwords. They get just enough information to use in “social engineering” attacks. They use details already collected about someone (name, home address, family, personal activities, etc.) to convince the ultimate target or an associate to divulge further valuable information.

Spear Phishing

Regular phishing is not aimed at a known individual. It is a ‘scattergun’ approach that just throws a baited hook in the pond and waits for a ‘fish’ to bite. Spear phishing is designed to target a specific individual. It will generally come in the form of a phone call or email, designed to reach that person directly or even indirectly. Spear phishing is a personalized form of phishing attack.

Steps You Can Take

Here are the things to remember to prevent phishing attacks:

  • The nature of phishing and spear phishing
  • Never trust an email based simply on the purported source. There are many ways to ‘spoof’ the alleged sender in an email so it seems to come from someone else.
  • Be wary of aggressive or urgent subject lines. Phishing attacks often try to evoke a sense of urgency, panic, or curiosity in their victims. This is done in an attempt to short-circuit the natural sense of skepticism or wariness.
  • Watch out for language errors. Read emails carefully, looking for problems with spelling or grammar. This can indicate a scam email.
  • Be very cautious of emails containing links to unusual web URLs. Scam emails may be formatted to look like legitimate communications from banks or business partners but using web addresses or links that are not 100% right. Nonstandard domain names ending in something other than .com or .org should raise red flags. Professional-looking imagery and logos can easily be copied by scammers.

These are just a few of the points you can include in company communications and training for your staff to help them avoid falling victim from phishing attacks. There is a wealth of training and technology available to further bolster your company’s cybersecurity. An IT services provider in Orange County can help you get up to speed with secure IT services. At Intelecis, we help businesses just like yours stay safe. Contact us now to learn more about us.