Identifying phishing attacks: A guide for SMBs

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For many SMBs, preventing cyber security attacks or breaches is a concern, but its not a top priority. But this should not be the case. Recently, we have seen more small to medium sized business hit with a range of cyber attacks than ever before, as criminals become better equipped to gain access to your data. And this could result in a loss of money, a loss of business time, and a loss of company reputation. And one of the most popular methods criminals use to gain access is to send phishing emails. So what are these? And how can you help your staff avoid them? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading network and security professionals. From cloud backup to secure remote access, we can provide a range of specialized network solutions. As a result, we have produced this guide to help you identify a phishing attack.

SMBs and phishing attacks

For most SMBs, the biggest phishing threat is through email. So, what exactly is a phishing email? Well, this is an email that is sent to try and trick the recipient out of important information, including account passwords, credit card details and other personal information. It will usually lead to a website that looks genuine, it may even be a carbon copy of the real website. And this makes it much easier for people to trust the company, and enter the details. For SMBs, staff falling for this email can provide enough information for criminals to access all of your sensitive data, as well as the data of any customers. Not only can this result in further criminal activity, including ransomware, but it can also damage the reputation of your company, as well as trust in your company.

Identifying phishing attacks: A guide for SMBs

So, as an SMB, how can you successfully identify a phishing attack? Well, there are several signs to look out for, including:

  1. The email address- This might sound obvious, but as many email inboxes only display the name of the sender, the email address is often hidden. And this means that as long as cyber criminals successfully spoof the name of a company you work with, or even a client, they have more chance of success. So make sure your staff always check the full email address, to help prevent cyber crime.
  2. Don’t follow links- The link address for any links in an email should be typed into a browser separately, rather than clicked on. This can prevent any malicious software from being downloaded to your device, and spreading through your secure network. Even if you know and trust the source, preventative measures can keep you safe.
  3. Analyse the email itself- Make sure to check the email thoroughly for any indicators that it is not legitimate. For example, spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes would not be present in a legitimate email. And check the greeting too. Many companies use your name to open their email, so emails with a vague greeting or salutation can be suspicious.

For professional, reliable network security and cloud data solutions, that are designed to match your business needs, get in touch with the team today, here at Creative Network Solutions.