As the internet has become an integral aspect of our everyday existence, cybercrimes are more common now. Cybercriminals trick their victims through various schemes, often leading to financial or emotional ruin. Phishing is one of the oldest cybercrimes that originated in the early days of the internet and remains prevalent even today. Phishers manipulate their victims into clicking on malicious links that facilitate other cybercrimes like data breaches, ransomware, etc. Let’s understand what does phishing mean and how to prevent it.What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of cybercrime wherein cybercriminals send messages or emails with malicious links. If an individual opens the link, the attacker can access their electronic systems and acquire sensitive data. Phishers typically aim to install malware on the victim’s device, often with the intention to extort money via data breaches. Typically, phishers create fake websites to manipulate users into revealing their personal and financial information.Example to Understand What is a Phishing Attack
Assume Mr. A works at a giant e-commerce company. He comes across an email with a URL from an unverified email address closely resembling his company ID. Not aware of the cybersecurity protocols, Mr. A opens the link and provides the details believing the enquirer to be a company associate. Once he clicks on the link, the attacker gets access to his credentials, paving the path to the company’s confidential data, like employee bank details, customers’ card information, etc.How to Identify Phishing Emails and Links?
Having explained what is phishing in cybersecurity, let us understand how to identify phishing emails. Criminals try hard to resemble a company-sent email by including logos and other such details.
- Since no two websites can technically have identical domain names, phishing email IDs have misspelt URLs.
- The email content appears to create a sense of urgency, forcing you to act upon it quickly.
- The content is usually shoddy and contains grammatical errors.
- You may be asked to verify or update financial information like bank account numbers, credit card information, etc.
- Phishing emails usually contains unfamiliar links or extensions.
The following are common types of phishing attacks.
Spear phishing: Attackers target company employees to steal credentials by gathering their details via social media and other networking platforms.
Pharming: Hackers remotely install malicious codes on victims’ computers, leading them to fake websites and access to their login credentials.
Clone phishing: Cybercriminals replicate emails that users previously received and resend them after adding malicious links. Such emails do not appear suspicious, leading to cyber vulnerability.
Spoofing: Attackers create fake websites of existing websites. If victims accidentally use the fake website to log into their accounts, hackers steal their data.Role of Cyber Insurance
With cybercrimes becoming so prevalent, businesses must take measures to secure their privacy and data. As a business owner, you must train your employees about the various types of cybercrimes and associated risks through frequent trainings and workshops. You must also invest in cyber insurance. Cyber insurance policies help prevent financial losses. The insurer also pays for IT and legal costs associated with phishing and other cybercrimes.Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.