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May 25, 2018. | Data security Financial services News Tips

The growing global ‘industry’ of phishing

Phishing scams

Phishing scammers are looking to steal your private, financial and identification information.

Costing US businesses half a billion dollars a year, the phishing ‘industry’ is huge, and growing at a monumental rate

According to the FBI, the amount firms have been conned out of by internet crooks increased by 2,370% between January 2015 and December 2016, while a separate report published earlier this year by internet security giant Kaspersky found that 76% of organisations experienced a phishing attack last year.

Lucrative

Kaspersky went on to claim banks are the most targeted businesses by these scammers and it is easy to see why – diverting just one transaction could be a lucrative operation for a cybercriminal.

All of this means employees need to keep a close eye on their inbox to ensure your company is not the latest firm to fall victim to cyber criminals, although having a secure email system is the first step to prevent such an attack.

According to Kaspersky, in Q2 2017, 23.5% of all phishing attacks involved banks, followed by payment systems (18.4%) and online stores (9.5%).

Phishing scam

But what is a phishing scam? Unlike ‘normal’ spam emails –  which cost firms hours in productivity each year – phishing emails are highly sophisticated and cleverly targeted to cause the most damage, unlike the scatter-gun approach used by spammers.

Where a spammer may send an email claiming to offer discounted products to 5,000 email addresses in the hope one or two people receiving the email are interested, a phishing scammer will attempt to impersonate an influential business to lure their target into sending them money.

It is this, bait-led approach which gave the scam its name; these scammers are, in effect, fishing for money.

Reputable

But there are two key steps to keeping your business safe from the malicious threats from email scammers, as Penta Service Specialist Angelos Papadopoulos says:

Penta Service Specialist Angelos Papadopoulos

Penta Service Specialist Angelos Papadopoulos

“The most important thing is to have the best anti-virus and security software working on your email servers. These systems work to prevent damaging emails from getting through to users, avoiding the threat of phishing scams before they can develop.

“Secondly, email attachments can carry all kinds of dangerous threats, so it is important users never click on links in emails or open executable files from unknown sources. These simple steps really limit the danger from any phishing or spam threat.”

Sophisticated

Another way to prevent these attacks is to use a highly-sophisticated business email system, such as what Penta offers its clients.

With Penta’s enterprise-grade, anti-spam, anti-virus email systems, all incoming emails are automatically scanned and reviewed, with the system determining whether or not each email is safe to look at. This denies spammers and phishing scammers access to your email accounts, meaning your staff can concentrate on their business, rather than worrying about falling foul to a phishing scam.

 A growing threat online

Growing threat of phishing
 Web scam becoming a global ‘industry’
 Tripwire

Facebook mimicking the latest trick
 Quarterly spam and web threat report
 SecureList

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