How to prevent phishing attacks from destroying your business

How To Prevent Phishing Attacks From Destroying Your Business

Internet & Security

How To Prevent Phishing Attacks From Destroying Your Business

Phishing is still among the most effective cybercrime in the digital era since it exploits human mistake to attack whole business networks. Because, phishing emails are very good at looking like real emails, which often leads to major data breaches. The use of psychological strategies such as familiarity, anxiety, and haste makes these emails incredibly powerful.

In the case of an attack succeeds to take down a whole company’s network, it might lead to permanent harm to the company’s reputation and the possibility of data ransom demands. Unauthorised access to data, interruptions in company operations, and the compromising of financial and personal information are all possible outcomes of these breaches.

Employee Vulnerability to Phishing Attacks

Phishing remains a potent threat to organisational security, significantly contributing to data breaches. Alarming statistics reveal that nearly one-third (33.1%) of users might engage with phishing attempts by clicking on suspicious links or complying with fraudulent requests via email. This behaviour highlights a crucial gap in security awareness among employees. Despite understanding the risks—70% of surveyed working adults admit to risky actions like password reuse or sharing and interacting with emails from unknown senders—many continue these practices, knowingly compromising their organisation’s security.

In fact, 95% of these individuals are aware of the dangers yet choose to proceed, highlighting a troubling trend where a significant portion of UK employees willingly undermine their company’s safety protocols.

A clear misunderstanding of security responsibilities between IT staff and the wider employee base complicates the problem further. 58% of surveyed employees either stated they were unsure of their responsibilities or that they had no responsibility at all, in contrast to 81% of security professionals, who stated that most employees are aware of their responsibility for security.

Examples of Phishing Emails

Primarily, phishing emails often appear as urgent messages from familiar companies, like banks, well-known businesses, or even internal departments. A common example of this kind of email is a request for login credentials pretending to come from a company’s HR department, or a promotion offering an enticing but fake deal that demands immediate action from a famous retailer. In addition, these emails frequently include professional logos and compelling content that creates a sense of urgency or anxiety.

Some common examples are: The fake invoice, Email account upgrade, Advance-fee, Google Docs, PayPal, Dropbox, The council tax, Unusual activity, Microsoft 365, Outlook scam, etc. Phishing emails are difficult to spot, as seen by their use of well-known brands.

Moreover, approximately thirty percent of phishing emails are clicked, which increases the possibility of visiting or downloading harmful links that lead to the installation of malware or ransomware. The most often used phrases in phishing emails include important (5.4%), attention (2.3%), urgent (8%), and important updates (8%).

Financial Implications for Businesses

According to a report dated in 2024, the UK is now the main target for phishing attacks in Europe, with 96% of its businesses being hit last year. Phishing has serious financial effects, costing UK businesses more than £30 billion in 2023 alone, as it remains an ongoing danger.

Along the same line, businesses suffer significant financial losses every year due to both direct financial fraud and the indirect consequences of data breaches. These consequences encompass regulatory fines, legal expenses, and lost revenue. In addition, if clients lose trust in a company, it could have major implications for its financial well-being in the long run.

Phishing Simulation and User Training

Phishing simulators and security awareness training are two important risk mitigation techniques that businesses are implementing more and more these days. Businesses have started using phishing simulations, with millions of simulated attacks performed, suggesting widespread adoption among businesses aiming to improve their cybersecurity posture.​

There is ample evidence to support the effectiveness of these programmes. By incorporating regular phishing simulations and providing user training, employees can significantly improve their skills in recognising and preventing phishing attempts. This proactive approach can result in a notable decrease in successful attacks. Employee training focuses on identifying and changing risky behaviour by increasing employees’ understanding of potential risks and providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively handle threats.

In general, companies that prioritise phishing simulations and comprehensive user awareness training are more equipped to handle the evolving cyber threat landscape..

Our 360 Security Packages include monthly phishing simulations, AI-driven attack scenarios, and comprehensive security features. Quick, effective courses and assessments ensure your employees are always prepared to recognise and respond to cyber threats.

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