As remote work has increased over the past year and a half, there has also been a rise in email cybersecurity threats. One of these specific types that's increased significantly in frequency is known as spear phishing - what is this, why is it growing so much, and how can you protect yourself and your business from it?
At JCIT, we're proud to offer a wide variety of managed IT and tech support services, covering all your hardware, software, printers, VOIP and more. We're available in both remote and on-site settings throughout Salt Lake City, serving a wide range of clients. Keeping your email data safe and protected is just one part of our broad security programs -- what are we talking about when we refer to spear phishing for email attacks, and how can you protect yourself from these? Here's a primer.
Spear phishing refers to a scam technique that utilizes publicly available information to steal money or personal information from its targets. Scammers will find information on corporate websites, plus on locations like LinkedIn or Facebook, and then will adapt and use this information to send disguised emails, usually requesting some type of payment or financial transfers.
It's all done by disguising the email sender and content, making it look like a legitimate communication that would be missed if not read carefully. Spear phishing differs from traditional email scams in that it's highly targeted to specific people. This means that businesses whose employees are frequently moving or updating information online may be more susceptible to spear phishing - if someone's name, company info, phone numbers and other data changes often over the course of a few months (and is publicly visible), it leaves them more vulnerable to potentially catching a piece of a scammer's attention.
Spear phishing is one of several email scam methods where cybercriminals will imitate a trustworthy sender in order to get users to open an email and click a link or attachment. These links may be sent from seemingly legitimate sources, such as a bank or credit card company, which leads you to believe the email is secure and genuine. This can cause individuals or entities to send money or otherwise make imprudent moves that will directly hurt their business.
In many cases, your email spam filter will catch spear phishing attempts before they reach you. However, they can sometimes be cleverly disguised in ways that will allow them through, so it's important to take precautions:
For more on how to prevent spear phishing for you and your company, or to learn about any of our managed IT or support services in Salt Lake City, speak to the staff at JCIT today.