[Cybersecurity] What is Phishing and How You Can Protect Your Organization

November 20, 2019

With the number of serious security breaches and cyberattacks affecting companies rising each year, it’s important for any organization to prioritize cybersecurity. Phishing is one of the most common issues plaguing businesses these days—your team should be well-prepared on how to handle these attacks to avoid major losses in your company.

Definition of Phishing

Phishing refers to the act of masquerading as a trustworthy sender and attempting to obtain sensitive information such as passwords, usernames, and credit card details. Hackers conduct this form of cybercrime by utilizing bulk email in an effort to evade spam filters.

Examples of Costly Phishing Attacks

Between 2013 and 2015, Google and Facebook were scammed out of over $100 million. The two tech giants were victimized by hackers through an elaborate scam involving fake invoices.

Xoom Corporation, a leading provider of electronic funds transfer, reported an almost $31 million fraud loss in 2014 due to communications that involved employee impersonation. Finally, Belgium’s Crelan Bank also lost $75.8 million in a fraud attack that was discovered during an internal audit.

How Phishing Attacks Can Affect Your Organization

Reputation Damage

The reputation of your company immediately takes a hit once you become a target of phishing. Once a data breach becomes known to the public and gets mainstream attention, the name of your organization will be tainted–no matter how great your PR department might be. It can take years or even decades before these mishaps fade from memory.

Data Theft

A data breach can have a catastrophic effect on the reputation and financial bottom line of any business. Take Equifax, Yahoo, or Target for example. What do you think when you hear those names? These days, many people associate those companies with data breaches instead of their actual business operations.

Although most phishing attacks are done through email, scammers also use social media messaging systems and SMS text messages to victimize unsuspecting individuals.

Loss of Customers

Typically, news of a data breach makes customers nervous, and they eventually lose trust in a company. This is any business's worst nightmare. Keeping your organization up and running might be impossible with customers no longer believing in your capacity to protect sensitive information.

Business Disruption

Regardless of the severity of the breach, a phishing attack can have a serious impact on your operations. It may take days or weeks for your company to go back to its normal service, depending on how major the breach was.

Protect Your Business with Cybersecurity

People have always been seen as a weakness when it comes to cybersecurity. In order to change this, companies should start treating people as a form of defense. In fact, businesses can effectively combat cybercrimes by arming employees with tools and training to counter all sorts of online threats.

Implementing cybersecurity measures, such as dark web scans, also helps a lot. Through dark web monitoring services, you can get a glimpse of the seedier side of the web to check if any of your organization’s confidential data is available on it.

Take our free assessment

This one-of-a-kind digital analysis goes deep into diagnosing your actual status, strengths, opportunities and threats (did we mention its FREE?)