When people talk about cybersecurity nowadays, there certainly seems to be a lot of emphasis put on phishing attacks and ransomware. This is for good reason. Not only can either of these attack vectors create significant difficulties for a business, they are often used in tandem. Let’s discuss why these threats are so potent, and why they so often show up together.
Imagine for a second the surprise you would have if you tried to log into your computer and you were presented with a message telling you that your files have been encrypted and that you need to pay in Bitcoin before the clock runs out or you will lose those files forever. Then you noticed the clock clicking down. Would you panic? You probably would. That is ransomware, a particularly ugly malware that could cost you everything.
Do you ever get emails that seem to come in randomly from the government, your bank, or your insurance company? Do they want you to act now and provide links or attachments to make that possible? The truth is most professional organizations that you depend on will never want you using email to do anything other than to verify your identity. That means that the emails you get that say you must act now to avoid going to jail for owing money are as fraudulent as they seem.
These are phishing messages. They can come in through email, social media, or via SMS or phone call. Unfortunately for the modern user, they are constant, often sophisticated, and can be especially problematic if handled improperly.
Since today’s hackers can’t just hack their way into an account, they use social engineering tactics to do so. If they can expose their fraudulent message to someone that is less than vigilant, they may gain access to a computer (or worse yet, a computing network), and then deploy their ransomware payload. Not a good situation for any individual; and a major problem for any business. Therefore, it is essential that your staff understands phishing tactics and can spot fraudulent emails and messages when they come in. Let’s take a look at some telltale signs that you are dealing with a phishing message.
Phishing tactics are a lot more sophisticated than they were even a few short years ago, but they can’t do anything for the one variable that matters: legitimacy. Here are a few ways you can tell that you are dealing with a phishing attack.
Here are a few steps we always recommend to help avoid phishing messages:
Cybersecurity is a constant process. If you would like help getting your staff trained or if you would like some information about other security tools you can use to keep your infrastructure and data safe, call the IT professionals at ATECH MSP today at 661-840-8707.