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How do phishing attacks harm corporations in 2019?

Phishing attacks have been a challenge for individuals and corporations for over a decade now. Even though most people know what phishing is, many are still falling victim to these increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. Here are some very common phishing attacks that many corporations have experienced:

Gaining access to a user’s bank account by stealing their credentials to withdraw money or shop online.

Using a victim’s confidential data to get fake credit cards.

Pushing malware to the computers of victims that install viruses and worms.

Using phishing emails to target executives and then stealing data that’s critical to their business.

Phishing attacks can result in massive losses for an organization. Here are the most common types of losses businesses suffer due to phishing attacks:

Financial Losses

Inflicting financial harm is the main motivation for a phishing attack. The damage can be so far-reaching that it can become impossible to assess. Over last few years, phishing attacks have caused billions of dollars in losses for corporate victims.

According to Agari Peterson, business email accounts suffer consistent attack. According to the FBI, phishing attacks on business email accounts have led to $70 million in losses. That’s a 126% increase in such attacks.

The legacy antivirus and antispyware solutions are not able to detect these breaches and require corporations to think about how to stop phishing attacks. These new attacks are quick and lead to potential financial damages within 24 hours.

Reputational Damages 

It takes years for businesses to build their reputation and relationships with customers. The phishing attacks not only infect the internal mailboxes, they can spread to a client’s inbox and cause irrevocable, reputational harm. In a business relationship, brand protection is a top priority. And every passing year, cyber criminals are developing more sophisticated methods to attack the corporations. Knowing that a brand has suffered an attack can taint its relationship to its clients. Trust that has developed over years can be wiped away in an instant.

Businesses must combat phishing attacks to ensure no critical customer information falls into the wrong hands. Data and/or financial loss can so tarnish a business’s reputation that they’re forced to close up shop.

In 2016, phishing attacks led to 4.2 billion stolen business records. Reputational damage was reported by almost 81% of the organizations attacked. On average, businesses incurred a loss of $1.6 million and an unknowable loss of future business. For large corporations, it’s easy to miss the warning signs of phishing attacks. Often, their own clients alert them about a potential breach.

Hackers and other bad actors impersonate the businesses they are attacking. It’s important for them to get ahead of such attacks and inform their clients before it harms the brand’s reputation. Even giants of tech like IBM and Microsoft have suffered from these sorts of phishing schemes. It’s imperative that all employees alert their superiors immediately if they suspect an attack. Early detection is key.

In conclusion

Avoiding such phishing incidents is possible if a business and its employees know the threat. Many businesses have started deploying cloud-based anti-phishing solutions to help keep them safe.

Knowing the threat, recognizing the signs of an attack, and securing their entire email network can shield businesses from financial and reputational losses.

What do you think?

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Written by James Dean

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