Spear phishing threatens business success
While many companies and individuals are familiar with the concept of phishing, there are emerging varieties of this specific type of cybercrime that are posing even more threats to organizations. For instance, spear phishing, in which particular businesses and people are targeted by hackers, is becoming a more popular tactic thieves are using to gain access to sensitive information. In order to stay safe, enterprises must revamp their email security and other data protection efforts.
Smart Company recently explained that no business is immune to these threats. The source explained that compared to the phishing attacks many Internet users are familiar with - easily detectable emails written in broken English, for example - spear phishing attempts are much more clever. Attackers can produce emails that look legitimate, and they even make sure to do their research before hitting "send." In fact, the news provider noted that spear phishers will comb corporate websites for the information they need to determine which staff members are least likely to be tech-savvy, maximizing the chances that their efforts will pay off.
In a recent survey conducted by Proofpoint at the 2013 RSA Conference in San Francisco, the firm discovered that many of today's C-level executives, IT professionals and compliance experts are growing familiar with these targeted attacks. Of the more than 600 attendees polled, 58 percent said that email spear phishing has been experienced at their business, while 20 percent admitted that they weren't sure if such events had occurred. Additionally, 20 percent said that they had experienced a data breach within the last 12 months.
The success of spear phishing efforts depends on employees' lack of awareness. If companies ensure that comprehensive policies and training programs are implemented alongside the right IT solutions, it is likely that organizations will avoid the costly data breaches that can result from these cyberthreats.