For any company today, one of the most important challenges you can come up against is preparing your staff for safety online. Phishing, for example, has become one of the most effective ways for criminals to put you in a tough position. For any business that is serious about combatting cybercrime, you need to improve phishing protection awareness in the workplace.
The internet is a dangerous place and can often feel quite lawless. Many times, otherwise lawful looking scams can take place that could leave you out of pocket, or at the risk of losing valuable information. In the worst-case scenarios, online scams could put your business at risk of functioning.
That’s why one of the first things you should look to do is invest in phishing awareness training. Such a program is vital to helping your business grow and improve, and it will also help you to avoid your business being put under threat. Whether you choose to run a phishing protection and awareness campaign in work, or you invest in free phishing awareness training, action has to be taken.
What is phishing, exactly?
The term phishing is one that confuses many people, as it’s not widely discussed enough. Phishing is a form of fraud that is used to try and get you, or another, to provide personal information. It’s often done through quite intelligent scams, such as e-mail. It could purport to be from an otherwise trustworthy source, such as your bank, or PayPal.
Phishing normally takes the form of a phone call or an e-mail and uses intelligent cloaking to try and make their message look unique. Through email phishing protection and awareness training, though, your staff can get used to looking out for the signs of phishing. These messages often try and suggest that something like a large bill is due, or that a cash rebate is now available. It then asks you to click through on a particular link, or hand over contact details over the phone.
While it might sound easy to spot a phishing scam, it’s anything but. That is why running cyber-security phishing awareness training is such a good idea.
During any kind of employee phishing training, you’ll be able to give your staff the advice they need. Knowledge is power, so being able to arm your staff with the pre-requisite knowledge is a great idea.
How common is phishing?
In the past, phishing was a small scale operation only managed by the bold few who could pull it off. Now? Phishing is among the most common forms of cybercrime around today. It costs billions to businesses who are not fully prepared to handle the risk of phishing. All it takes is one member of your staff to mistakenly follow a phishing link, and your entire business could become compromised.
As the story above shows, companies have lost millions in a singular transaction simply by not following protocol. Only through training can you make staff aware of how common phishing is, what to look out for, and how to avoid the problems it can cause.
It’s estimated that a phishing attack could cost a small business, on average, around $53,897. That is a lot of money to lose, and it’s one of the main reasons why you should do everything in your power to raise awareness in the workplace. So, how common is phishing exactly?
According to Avanan, it’s around every 1 in 99 emails sent out is a phishing attack. Across a working week, this is just shy of five e-mails per employee. So, all it takes is a company to have one employee who falls for this once in a five-day working day – that is not too unrealistic, is it?
With the sophistication of modern techniques, too, phishing awareness campaigns are more important than ever. It’s vital that you try and set up some kind of in-work protocol that gives your staff the opportunity to come and speak to someone if they fear that they are being taken for a scam.
With Verizon noting that around one-third of all data breaches that take place involve phishing, it would be foolish to ignore its prominence.
Raising phishing protection awareness in the workplace
- Want some ideas on making your staff more aware about the potential for a phishing issue in work? Then try and carry out the following:
- First off, invest in phishing awareness coaching – it’s essential to lay down the foundations.
- Run a regular phishing awareness campaign in work; make it clear that it’s a problem you could face.
- Put up as many phishing awareness posters as you can around the office to keep it close to mind.
- Run weekly, even daily if you have time, sessions for staff to show examples of phishing letters going around.
- Start a newsletter that staff can read which will show them the latest resources to look out for industry-specific phishing scams.
- Build a clear protocol for staff; if they think they have a phishing problem waiting for them, ensure a senior staff member is alerted.
- Make time for paying attention to phishing. Don’t see it as something juvenile or time-consuming; awareness could save your business millions.
- Develop a phishing awareness email template, one that can be used to show your staff what a phishing email will look like.
- Create a reward system for staff who point out such phishing attempts; make it worth more than just your reputation for staff to remain vigilant.
What does phishing awareness training involve?
As you might imagine, the majority of phishing awareness tips will be given to you through a training program. These programs are essential for giving staff the confidence that they need to take on a phishing scam when they see one.
Only through comprehensive employee phishing training can you ensure that you have a business that is strong and robust enough to handle the issue. From making the most of the training to utilizing some of the ideas above, it’s time for your business to become phishing-aware.
The longer you wait to go through a phishing protection awareness program, the higher the risk is that you will become a victim of this heinous crime. Invest in training today, and your business will benefit both today and in the long-term.