Even though phishing scams have existed for years, they still remain a huge issue for every Internet user, and especially businesses. A phishing scam will not only take financial advantage of the company but it will also have a long-lasting impact on its reputation. For this reason, it is crucial for you to understand what a phishing scam is, and some simple ways to recognize the red flags.
What is a Phishing Scam?
In essence, phishing is a form of cyberattack that aims to extract sensitive data from an individual or an organization.
A phishing scam often includes an e-mail or a bogus website that takes advantage of the receivers’ carelessness.
In many cases, these e-mails and websites replicate the form and style of the person or business they are impersonating, hence making it difficult to distinguish it at a glance.
The Consequences of a Phishing Scam
For years, phishing has been an effective way for hackers to access the data of businesses and individuals because it is easily achievable.
For a business, in particular, the consequences can be grave.
The most significant ones of them include:
1. Loss of Revenue
As one would expect, falling for a phishing scam means that your business will experience some financial loss.
First of all, the hackers might extract money from you or your clients’ accounts, which you will have to compensate.
In addition to these direct losses though, you might also have to pay some fines imposed by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
In the end, the total amount your company will lose might reach an astronomical number.
2. Damaged Brand Loyalty and Reputation
This is more of an indirect impact on your business, even though it is one of the most damaging ones. Nowadays, every company realizes how important brand loyalty is for the organization’s growth.
An event, such as a phishing scam, can reverse the progress towards brand loyalty, and make your clients lose faith in you and your services.
Luckily, the damage done is not irreversible, even though it might take a while to reach your prior level.
3. Data and Security Breach
Apart from the financial loss from a phishing scam, your company will also face the loss of important data.
These include your customer databases, your research, your competitive analysis, and all the other documents that help you create your business strategy.
In many cases, this intellectual property is worth more than any amount of money that hackers may have stolen from you.
The Indications that You Are Under a Phishing Attack
Recovering from a phishing scam is a long and time-consuming process.
However, prevention is the best strategy to avoid all of these unfortunate consequences.
Some signs that will help you recognise phishing attempts are:
- E-mail from senders you don’t recognise
- E-mail attachments like .exe files
- URLs that don’t match the product or service description
- E-mail addresses that don’t match the domain name they were supposed to come from
- Forms that ask you to fill in your personal information
The only way to avoid phishing scams is to train your employees to recognize all of the red flags.
If you want to boost the security of your organization, contact our security experts to find which areas require immediate action.