The quickest way to protect your business from cyberattacks is to properly train your employees. Some businesses might picture an overseas hacker taking extraordinary measures to break into a small business’s network, but that’s not usually the case. In many scenarios, a basic phishing email can compromise your small business. Basic safety measures often prevent attacks from being successful.
“If SMBs spent one hour training staff on basic internet hygiene – spotting phishing emails, good browsing practices, not downloading suspicious files or clicking links – cybersecurity would be greatly improved,” said Sean Allen, digital marketing manager at Aware. “Employees and emails are still the No. 1 causes of breaches for SMBs – no need to worry about master hackers.”
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For small businesses wondering what the different types of cyberattacks are, we’ve outlined them in our small business guide to cybersecurity. Among the most common types of cyberattacks against small businesses are phishing attacks.
Phishing is a lot like it sounds. When people catch fish, they use bait to lure them close. When the fish gets close, it bites the hook with the bait on it, which then causes a pull on the fishing line, and the fisherman knows to reel the fish back to the boat. Phishing emails work similarly in the sense that the cybercriminals try to trick users by using bait, often in the form of an email.
For example, a cybercriminal might create a fake email address that closely resembles that of your CEO. (We’ve seen this a few times at our company.) The email may say something like, “Hi, message me immediately with your cell phone number. I need your help on a project and want to give you a call.” The goal of this email is to get you to think you’re emailing back and forth with your CEO. This gets you to send personal information to the hacker without even realizing it’s a threat.