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How To Keep Your Employees Safe From Phishing Attacks

Phishing-Attack

Computer hacking and data breaches have become a huge problem for businesses of all sizes. Therefore, in the digital era we live in, security breaches can have a devastating impact. It's estimated that in the UK, one company is hacked every 19 seconds and the average cost of a data breach is approximately £23,000.

Phishing is especially concerning. These fraudulent emails appear to come from a reliable source and often include a link or an attachment that the user is prompted to click on or download. Despite being one of the oldest forms of cyber-attacks, it seems that phishing is as widespread as ever. In 2020, phishing accounted for approximately one-third of all business data breaches in the United States. In the UK, statistics suggest that nearly 20% of employees will click on a phishing link. Once this happens, the scenario is quite bleak:

- The entire network could become exposed to hackers.
- Hackers could install malware or ransomware in one or more computers.
- This could disrupt or bring to a halt your business operations.

In addition, there’s the issue of reputation. Once your company is hacked and the word is out, it’s very hard to rebuild trust among customers, whether they’ve been directly affected or not.

Why Is Phishing Still a Problem?

Fair question. You would think that with all the tech advances we now have at our fingertips; online security should be getting stronger. So why does phishing still represent a major threat? Mainly, because of the way it’s approached.

In many small and medium-sized businesses, there isn’t a systematic way of preventing phishing attacks. Employees may be told to not click on suspicious links, but they’re not always given specific information on how to determine which emails are ‘suspicious’. In other words, phishing prevention consists of a single weak layer.

Robust Protection Against Phishing Attacks

Preventing phishing entails adopting a multi-layered approach supported by the following pillars:

1) Employee guidance, training and education, for example by using this guide.
2) Taking a “less is more” approach to the amount and nature of personal information displayed on your website (e.g. staff email addresses).
3) Bullet-proofing your IT resources at system level. This could include setting up filters to your company’s email service, getting all devices professionally configured to the highest protection level, improving password security, and reviewing access privileges.

The goal is to keep vulnerabilities to a minimum and make it harder for hackers to gain access to your system. Of course, taking the steps mentioned above is time-consuming, and not every company has in-house resources to do it. This is why it’s worth considering partnering with an experienced managed IT provider. Microsoft 365 includes a number of anti-phishing features that Fuse configure to protect our customers:

  • Identity protection to strengthen credentials, and detect risky logins
  • Email policies that filter out phishing messages and block access to harmful websites
  • Device policies to prevent software being installed and configurations being changed
  • Phishing simulations, to assess your employee's exposure to risk, and direct them to appropriate training.

Fuse Collaboration – Protecting Your Team, Your Assets, and Your Customers

At Fuse Collaboration we put robust security at the heart of all our services. Over the past 15 years, we’ve helped UK companies get the most of complete solutions like Microsoft 365 without compromising security. Our team is also able to identify attacks in their early stage and act quickly before the situation escalates.

 If you run an SME, give us a call and we’ll discuss your concerns.

 

Image Source: Pixabay

 

 

About the author

Fuse

Fuse is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, based in Northampton. We help organisations of all sizes to maximise IT efficiencies through the use of Microsoft cloud computing solutions.

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