Five ways to protect your small business from phishing attacks

Ever clicked on a malicious link in an email by mistake?

You could have been the target of a phishing attack.

These have been on the rise and now account for almost 60% of all cyberattacks worldwide. They usually involve tricking the user into clicking a link that either entices the user to submit sensitive information such as their username and password, payment details, etc., or installs malware onto their device. Users can be targeted by email, text or even via social media with messages that usually appear to come from a reputable source, for example, another employee. This can make it tricky to spot the potential signs of an attack.

This type of malicious activity is  also becoming an increasingly common way of targeting small business owners, and can have far-reaching consequences for them – including loss of money, data and operations.

So how can I protect my small business from a phishing attack? Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Training employees

Thanks to evolving attack methods, it might not be immediately obvious whether an email or text is fraudulent at first glance. Therefore, it’s a good idea to educate employees on specific phishing tactics used by hackers and potential warning signs to look out for. This could include grammatical errors, or attachments that end in .exe, .jar and .vbs.

  1. Changing company passwords

Using the same passwords across your company can make it easy for hackers to access your accounts. However, installing a password manager to regularly change and update your passwords can make it more difficult for hackers to access sensitive information. You should also make sure your passwords are long, contain special characters and use multi-factor authentication.

  1. Updating software

Old software often contains vulnerabilities that are easy for hackers to exploit. Therefore, it’s important to check that the latest versions of software are installed across your business. This can be done by scheduling regular updates and continually monitoring the status of software across your organisation.

  1. Installing anti-virus solutions

With phishing techniques constantly evolving, you should also consider installing anti-virus solutions across your business’ devices. These can prevent, detect and remove malware installed during an attack. Installing an email filter in your employees’ inboxes can also help detect emails containing malicious links.

  1. Encrypting sensitive data

Lastly, encrypting sensitive data can prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information in the event of an attack. This converts data into ciphertext, or a series of numbers, that can only be read by an encryption key. This means that the data cannot be used if the attacker gets past your business’ defences.

Interested in finding out more around how to protect yourself from cyberattacks? Why not check out some of our other blogs: