How to protect your business from phishing scams

The number of reported phishing scams by internet users around the world is on the rise. You and your company must be proactive in spotting phishing sites to avoid the risk of leaking confidential and personal information.

Companies that want to keep their private data secure need to take anti-phishing measures. In this article, we’ll discuss examples of phishing scams and what businesses should do to prevent becoming victim to hackers.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is an attempt to steal personal information through spoofing official emails or websites. Phishing attempts to direct victims to a phishing site.

A phishing site is a site to which a phishing scam is operated. Users are directed from phishing emails and private messages to the target phishing sites. Phishing can also occur in social media comments and video links.

Phishing scams commonly found in Facebook comments.

Phishing sites are created by imitating official websites. Some sites are so elaborately crafted that they are almost indistinguishable from the real one, so you need to be careful. Submitting personal data to a phishing site is the equivalent of having one’s personal identity or company data stolen.

The purpose of directing people to phishing sites is to steal account information such as credit cards, IDs, and passwords. By filling in the input form on the phishing site and filling in the fields required to register or login, a malicious third party can steal your information.

How to recognize phishing sites

Phishing sites can be identified by checking the link, sender or email headlines. It’s also a good idea to compare URLs to real sites to see if they match up exactly. Scammers phishing through social media also tend to send short links that claim to take you to a video or download that is usually suspicious or contains malicious content. Never trust short links offering to take you to free movie sites or app downloads as they often are phishing attempts. We will explain in detail how to distinguish each one.

Phishing Red Flags

Check the source

If a message is sent via email or SMS, check the sender. By checking the source, you may notice something unnatural such as misspelled words, random or out of place letters. Look for unknown phone numbers that you’ve never seen as phishing attempts are often conducted through SMS. However, because the sender can be spoofed, sometimes it is not possible to identify an email that leads to a phishing site.

Also, if the sender contains multiple email addresses other than your own, be aware that there is a possibility that the email will lead you to a phishing site.

Look for any possibility of spam or unreliable links. Short links can often time refer you to phishing sites. Often times phishing links are in Youtube and Facebook video comments where people may be looking to watch the full version of a particular short video or clip. Be cautious of links offering to watch free movies which in most places are illegal without a license. Also you should not click random links in Facebook that’s offering to show you a secret video outside of Facebook. YouTube is the most trusted video site on the web.

Search for email headings

If you search the Internet for some of the headlines or texts in your emails, you may find warnings from legitimate sites. Alternatively, damage information may be disclosed by anti-phishing councils that collect information on phishing scams.

If you’re alerted by a legitimate company or anti-phishing council, move the email to the trash and do nothing more. If there are any unnatural points in the text, getting into the habit of searching the Internet for help will help prevent phishing site scams.

Compare URLs to real sites

Phishing URLs look exactly like the real thing, but there are differences. Because you can’t create exactly the same URL, you need to change part of the URL.

First of all, try to make sure that URLs such as com end up the same as the real site. You may also find other things that differ from the alphabet in the real URL, such as “I” and “l” and “l” and “O” and “0 (zero)”. Double check the URLs before you proceed to ensure that the domain is 100% equal to the official site.

Check the grammar

If you check the grammar of the email for any unnatural points, you may be able to recognize a phishing email before damage is done. This is because some phishing e-mails are translated from another language to English and are as a result suffer from common grammar mistakes.

Be careful, though, because even if the email is written in natural language, it can still be a phishing scam.

Check the notation of company information

Please check whether there is a notation of company information on the site. For example, an e-commerce site is required by law to include company information such as address, telephone number, representative name, number of employees, capital, and year of company establishment.

In the case of phishing sites, there may be no business information. If so, it can be judged to be a fake site. When using a site for the first time, check the company information in particular.

Identify phishing sites with SSL

If it’s not loading in SSL (https://), it’s more likely to be a phishing site. If there is a key mark on the left side of the URL, it is SSL enabled. However, it is necessary to be careful because it could still be an unsecure site even with SSL enabled.

SSL is not inherently a way to identify phishing sites. Its primary role is to prevent the theft and alteration of personal and card information through man-in-the-middle attacks. A man-in-the-middle attack is the use of special software to intercept or eavesdrop on communications between two companies.

The cost of obtaining an SSL certificate is now lower than before. Therefore, let’s also grasp that the number of phishing sites that have been converted to SSL is increasing.

Must Read: Cloud storage for Enterprise and Small Business professionals – The Modern Time

Examples of phishing scams

Phishing Email

As phishing scams are on the rise, various cases have been reported. Here are three examples of phishing scams. Be careful, as there have been cases where company employees have been involved in phishing scams.

Unauthorized access to employee emails that have been caught in phishing scams

In this scenario, an employee accessed a fake site from a phishing email, which led to unauthorized access to the company’s email account. This is because an employee mistakenly entered an email address and password into an input form on a fake site that mimics a cloud-based email service used by a company.

Later, a malicious third party gained unauthorized access to the mail server with the stolen password. It has been confirmed that a third party was able to check the e-mail of the victim employee.

Phishing scams posing as major banks

In this case, an email pretending to be a bank was sent with a subject such as “urgent contact” or “there is a risk that the card may be used by a third party”. It is not only sent by e-mail, but also by SMS. It is a method of leading people to fake phishing sites to steal Internet banking IDs, passwords, etc.

Banks have implemented measures such as the delivery of alert e-mails and the introduction of password cards. By doing so, banks are also taking various security measures, but the reality is that phishing scams are ever increasing. Corporate personnel will also need to be wary of phishing scams posing as major banks.

Phishing scams mimicking site subscriptions or registrations

Phishing Scams Email

In this example, an email is sent out asking you to continue your registration to active a service or claim a benefit. It is a common trick to direct you to a site that resembles an official account registration screen, prompt you to register for an account, and fill in one or more of the following information.

Name
Address
E-mail address
Phone Number
Social Security Number
Secret Recovery Answer
Credit Card Information

Measures against phishing sites in companies

It’s important to remind your employees not to immediately click on links in potentially fraudulent emails and to check for access to only legitimate URLs. In addition, it is also effective to introduce anti-phishing software to the PCs used by employees. Here, we will introduce measures against phishing sites in companies.

Digital Detective

Access the URL directly

When accessing the sites of your business partners or financial institutions, be careful not to use the URL of the email you were sent.

You can prevent access to phishing sites by always typing in the correct URL or using tools such as bookmarking for authentic sites. Even if the email is from the correct account, your account may have been hijacked.

Don’t click links immediately

When anti-phishing, it’s also important not to immediately click on links in emails. Even if the URL written in the email is in the correct notation, be careful because different link destinations may be used underneath.

Instead of immediately clicking on a link in an email, right-click to copy and paste the link to make sure the link is correct. Checking the original destination will prevent you from being directed to a different site than the URL shown. If the URL on the email is similar but different from the actual URL, it’s safe to assume that it’s a phishing attempt.

Introduce software with anti-phishing functions

Anti-virus software may also have features to combat phishing scams. If you have anti-phishing features, it is easy to prevent access to phishing sites. Software with anti-phishing functions detects phishing emails and sites and blocks access.

Take measures based on the premise of intrusion

Not limited to phishing, it’s hard to make sure your account isn’t 100% stolen. It is more effective to consider measures premised on intrusion than to aim for 100%. Active Directory and IDaaS have the ability to alert you if there is suspicious behavior or unusual access to your account. Based on this alert, you can configure a policy that requires MFA authentication again.

Summary

Phishing site scams are on the rise. It’s not easy to spot phishing sites. Check out these tips whenever you need help combating phishing scams.

Raising awareness among co-workers and employees about phishing sites is an important part of preventing fraud. In addition, in order to prevent access to phishing sites, it is also effective to strengthen security by introducing software and mechanisms with anti-phishing functions.

Phishing threats require a combination of various security measures, taking into account post-intrusion countermeasures. Microsoft Total Protection 2022, a zero-trust security system based on intrusion assumptions, provides comprehensive security measures, centralized management, and various integration functions.

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