Managing phishing concerns: Here’s how small businesses can do better!

Small businesses have suffered numerous cyberattacks and security breaches in the last couple of years. The ongoing health pandemic has only made things worse, considering many businesses have remote teams and are dealing with more threats and risks because of the scattered work environment. As such, hackers continue to exploit existing vulnerabilities. When it comes to phishing, hackers are basically trying exploit human weaknesses. 

Understanding phishing attacks

Phishing emails are designed in a way that these look legit to users, and they end up following the instructions. Through phishing, hackers usually try to get sensitive information or want users to download a file or click a link, which typically contains a malware. Once the malware is in place, it follows the given instructions. Phishing attacks has caused massive damage to small businesses that often don’t spend as much on cybersecurity, or have a vague idea of how to manage such incidents. 

Managing phishing concerns

There are some very basic steps that must be followed for managing phishing concerns – 

  1. Educate employees. Cybersecurity training is an aspect that businesses cannot take for granted, considering employees are on the frontlines of ensuring safety of data and information. 
  2. Start phishing simulations. Unless someone knows how phishing attacks work, they may have a hard time understanding the risks. There are several ways of doing phishing simulations, and you can hire a cybersecurity expert for the same. 
  3. Focus on emails. Phishing happens through email, and using a spam filter for protecting against suspicious emails can help. If your company isn’t using an antimalware suite as yet, it is time to do the same. 
  4. Update software and firmware. Hackers often try to exploit the existing issues within a system, software, or firmware, which is precisely why updates and patches must be installed immediately. 
  5. Create an incident response plan. It is extremely important for businesses to have a plan to manage phishing incidents. Also, encourage your people to report phishing emails and incidents, even if they have made a mistake. 

Also, it is a good step to explain the difference between standard phishing and spear phishing to employees. In case of the latter, hackers usually have done some research on the target, so the phishing email looks way more customized and authentic. However, usually such emails do have red flags, like wrong spellings and grammar issues, while in some cases, the hacker may even use scare tactics to trick the user.