phishing attackPhishing was the most prevalent type of cyberattack in 2020. (PDF, Opens in new tab). It rose from 114,702 incidents to 241,342 in 2019, to the current level. This statistic shows the growing success of these attacks. Phishing is when hackers attempt to trick a person, company, or organization into giving them unauthorized information via text, email, or telephone.

How does phishing impact a business? You can better prepare for phishing attacks by understanding the consequences.

Four ways that phishing can harm your business

Financial losses

According to IBM research, the average cost of data breaches in 2020 was $3.86million. This includes more than just fighting off an attack. It also includes recovery costs, stock valuation depreciation and regulatory fines if regulators discover that your company doesn’t have adequate security measures. While the financial impact of a data breach will vary according to the organization’s size, there is still money that can be used elsewhere in the business to improve customer service, operations, or financial health.

Reputational risk

Trusted brands are more likely to be trusted by customers. A 2020 Edelman study found that trust is the second most important element (PDF). Opens in new tab for a consumer’s purchase decision. It is crucial that consumers have access to their data privacy to establish and maintain trust. If there is a data breach, such as phishing, or any other cyberattack, this can undermine consumers’ faith in the brand. This could cause them to move their business elsewhere.

Loss of proprietary information

Cyber AttackCybercriminals commit cybercrimes as data is highly valuable. These crimes are worth $1.5 trillion per year according to a 2020 study. Cybercriminals can gain access to your company’s proprietary information. This can include trade secrets and information about upcoming product launches or new partnerships and acquisitions. It can impact your market competitiveness.

Disrupted business operations

According to IBM research, it takes companies 280 days to detect and fix a data breach. The business might not be able to function properly during this period, particularly in the first days after a cyberattack. This could have a devastating effect on your business’ ability to process customer orders, communicate with customers promptly, and procure the materials or goods you need to keep your product/service available in the marketplace.

How to protect your company against phishing scams

While phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and common, there are steps your company can take to reduce or prevent these types of incidents.

Employee training

Training employees is an effective defense against phishing attacks. Hackers are known to prey on employees. However, training employees to spot suspicious emails, texts, and phone calls can help you avoid these attacks. To increase your employees’ cyber awareness, use company newsletters and other communication channels. You can also offer them virtual, on-demand cybersecurity training they can access whenever they need it. Consider making cybersecurity training an integral part of the onboarding process for new hires. You might also consider making it compulsory for all employees.

Email security and improved threat detection

You can also put in mechanisms to improve email security within your company. You can require two-factor authentication–where employees have to enter their password and then a code or PIN to gain access to systems. Ask employees to change their passwords once a month. Potential threats can be identified using threat detection services or tools that monitor your network 24 hours a day.

Protecting your business against phishing attacks

Although phishing attacks are now a common problem for businesses, it doesn’t mean that your company shouldn’t take steps to safeguard itself. By increasing

  • cyber awareness among employees
  • applying best practices in email security
  • using advanced cybersecurity technologies

you can help reduce the risk to your company and possibly prevent a phishing attack from having a negative impact on your business.

How does phishing impact a business? An organization that cannot answer this question is at serious risk of being cyberattacked. The best way to protect your data is to request a cyber audit of you network from Adtek Advanced Technologies today.  This will give you peace of mind and provide you with the necessary steps to stay protected.