Unfortunately, phishing is a fraudulent practice that comes with the digital side of running a business. If you have an email address, chances are at some point your inbox will have a message that wants you to click on an unsafe link. Phishing emails target organisations of any size and can even use the names and information of employees to make scams seem more realistic. But is there anything you can do to reduce the damage that harmful emails can cause? In this blog we look at what phishing is, how it can damage your company’s reputation and why phishing awareness training can help safeguard your business.
What is phishing?
Phishing is essentially the practice of deceiving and manipulating individuals into sending sensitive information to the wrong people. Although this process can be executed via phone or social media, these ‘tricks’ usually occur through email as it has the capacity to target a lot of people at the same time. A typical example is an email that encourages users to submit confidential information or click on an unsafe link. This will often trigger the downloading of malware, which is harmful software designed to obtain unauthorised access to a company’s computer system. Once delivered over a network, malware enables hackers to steal sensitive information, view confidential data and even embezzle money.
How can phishing damage a company’s reputation?
While receiving emails with malicious intent is undoubtedly frustrating – not to mention dangerous, it also has the capacity to ruin a company’s reputation. If a hacker manages to spoof your domain and send spam emails that look like they’re from your business, it could have negative repercussions. From a PR point of view, no one wants their company to be associated with fraudulent emails or harmful scams. Not only will it devalue the service you offer, but recipients will be less likely to read genuine emails you send out in the future or mistake them as a phishing attack. Email marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to raising awareness of your brand, but it won’t have much of an impact if your target audience disregard your communication as spam.
How can phishing awareness training help?
It is impossible to rely solely on technology to prevent phishing attacks. While technical measures will always help to eliminate the damage that phishing can cause, employees also need to be taught how to correctly identify and report cyber threats. This is where phishing awareness training comes in because it empowers employees to understand the difference between authentic emails and those with harmful intent.
Unfortunately, scams used by hackers are often very persuasive and look extremely credible, which is why users often follow their instructions. By employing phishing awareness training, team members will be in a better position to spot a potential attack in their inbox. In turn, they’ll have an improved chance of protecting themselves and their employers from hackers who want access to sensitive information and funds. If team members can identify an email that has the potential to download malware and cause disruption, there’s less chance of hackers accessing a business’s confidential assets.