Phishing attacks are becoming harder to recognise and recently the data of more than 100 million Americans was exposed after the security of a cloud-based server was breached. With every attempt to eradicate phishing scams, they become increasingly more sophisticated, targeting both businesses and individuals.
A survey has revealed that 60% of Americans are exposed to fraud schemes, so users need to stay up-to-date with potential threats and upgrade their cybersecurity to match levels of attack. Many web hosting providers offer automated antivirus and malware scanning for their accounts, but individuals and small businesses can also do more to protect themselves.
Data from a new security service reveals that, of the threats it has successfully blocked, 89% have been related to phishing. A new threat crops up every 6 seconds, and the most common targets tend to be smaller companies, largely because they are not adequately protected against attack. As methods of hacking become more sophisticated, cybersecurity can protect you and your business from online intrusion, not only by filtering malicious content but by blocking access to websites deemed to be risky. This is why cybersecurity is so important, both for companies and individuals.
The content of cyber phishing attacks is becoming increasingly refined, and is no longer obvious from its spelling errors, poor grammar and suspicious source address. They are essentially still emails that request action, maybe through a click on a hyperlink to verify information, or an invitation to open an attachment. If instructions are followed, attackers can then gain access to valuable personal or financial information. Once a cyber criminal has any personal data about an individual, either from phishing or simply finding information from public profiles online, then they are able to target individuals more specifically. Known as spear-phishing, these attacks can be more successful at tricking recipients as emails appear to come from a trusted source.
Filtering Out Phishing
As phishing attacks are constantly being developed, it’s important to stay informed so you can be aware of them as soon as possible. Once alert to new scams, you can block senders individually or install a phishing filter on your email application. Most web browsers have anti-phishing and anti-malware protection software already built in, and they will attempt to sift out phishing content before it becomes a problem.
It’s also important to verify that any services you use that handle your businesses sensitive data or your own personal information are also secure. If you still receive phishing emails, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission or to your email provider. This helps security companies to understand the extent of fraud and take steps to further enhance cybersecurity.
Despite phishing being a well-known phenomenon, it is important not to be complacent when it comes to defending yourself or your business from attack. Like all forms of cyber technology, it is constantly evolving, and as it becomes more sophisticated, you’ll need reliable cybersecurity to protect against it.