There are an increasing amount of ways in which your business remains vulnerable to attack. There are cyber hacks, inside jobs, third-party failures, mobile device risks and physical break-ins. But despite all these different avenues and routes, emails still remain one of the prevalent and risk averse areas. Quite simply, one sophisticated emails could compromise your entire business.
Not long ago, when the Internet was still considered to be a newborn, opening a dodgy email would result in a virus. That was one of the major flaws of Windows run computers. However, the advancements of anti-virus software have somewhat limited the success rates of these attempts. But that hasn’t stopped the more criminally-minded from pursuing targets.
Phishing, spear phishing, social engineering; all of these are sophisticated ways in which cyber attacks can work effectively to steal data, sensitive information and even money, which is why you need to become more security-savvy and ensure your business is as protected as possible.
The best way to limit the chances of any cyber attacks taking place is to improve your prevention strategies, in which you have a few options. The first is to outsource your security needs to an IT support firm who will be able to identify and strengthen any weaknesses. They will essentially take over all of your IT needs, giving you more peace of mind and more resources in which to work with.
Another method is to invest heavily in R&D. You probably have a tech team, so why not allocate 15% of their time to researching the current trends in cyber attacks and how the professionals are dealing with them.
The third option is training, and this one is imperative. The more you train your staff on security, the less chance you have of being susceptible to attack. We recommend you do this by employing a digital learning company that has significant experience in this area. They will be able to produce innovative, engaging and interactive ways to educate your workforce, while also providing an audit trail so that you know who has completed the training and where people are struggling.
What To Look For In Emails
Who it is from
This should always be your first port of call, and the first thing you should do is look at who the sender is. If you don’t recognize the sender’s email address, or if you don’t regularly communicate with them, then always click on the sender name to see it in more detail. We’ve all had those fake Amazon emails that look like purchase receipts. They look so professional. But when you click on the sender email (which will probably say Amazon) you’ll see it is a fact somewhat dodgy, like ali4538[at]hotmail[dotcom]. Another thing to look at is the time the email was sent. All too often, phishing emails are sent well outside of business hours, which should immediately ring alarm bells.
The subject title
A lot of the more sophisticated attacks use an RE: system that makes it seem as though they are replying to an email you sent them. This is because it immediately makes you doubt yourself while simultaneously intriguing you. What’s more, the subject could also be misleading and a far cry from what the actual content relates to. The reason for this is simple; the subject has been carefully considered to draw you in. Another thing to check is the recipients. In order to save time, cyber attackers tend to blanket email their targets. As such, you should always check who else was copied in because, if there is a random group of email addresses or colleagues, chances are someone is trying to dupe you.
Dangers in the content
This is where the sender will try and cause you damage. This is where they will have planted the sting. It could be that the sender wants you to download an attachment or open a hyperlink, and the ways in which they get you to do this are becoming increasingly clever. It could be the Amazon or iTunes receipt for something you didn’t buy, or a tax return. They’ll lure you in with financial repercussions and motivate you to act fast with a ticking clock. As such, always go onto your Amazon or iTunes account and look at your purchase orders. In terms of clues, look for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or anything else that would be unprofessional. The bottom line, though, if you feel uncomfortable, suspicious or panicky, then chances are someone is trying to hack your details. No respectable company that values you as a customer would put you under pressure.