Cyberattacks have grown much more sophisticated over the past few years and you might not even be aware that your system is being infiltrated. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

As hackers’ methodology becomes more sophisticated, cybersecurity professionals need to respond. common method in cyber and social engineering attacks these days are phishing and spoofing which both involve deceiving the recipient into voluntarily giving up sensitive information. 

What is spoofing?

Online thieves aren’t any different from real-world criminals and con artists. They, too, use impersonation as a means to steal pertinent data from their victims. This deception tactic is known as spoofing, which is an umbrella term that includes IP address spoofing (sending messages to a computer using an IP address masquerading as a trusted source), e-mail spoofing (editing an e-mail header to make it appear that it came from a known sender), and DNS spoofing (altering the DNS server to reroute a specific domain name to a different IP address). 

What is e-mail phishing?

Unlike spoofing, e-mail phishing is a type of cyber attack that involves the use of fake e-mails as weapons. The goal is to deceive e-mail recipients into believing that the message is something they want or need. It could be a message from a trusted entity like a bank. The e-mail would contain a link or download attachment that leads to the installation of malware or a ransomware attack. It could also lead to a bogus website where the user is required to enter information like social security numbers and bank account information. Hackers are adept at making these links look legitimate, so an untrained eye may not be able to tell that they’re not genuine. 

How these cyberattacks occur

To help you avoid falling victim to these attacks, here are a few examples of how ransomware might spread across to local systems and SaaS accounts. 

  • Delivery: As mentioned before, this occurs when a user clicks a link or downloads an attachment which harms their system with malware. Previously, this type of attack was carried out at a larger scale, but now it’s more targeted and customized for the intended victim.
  • Infection: If you’re working with a team and someone unknowingly clicks on ransomware, it can easily spread across the network and infect additional PCs and servers. This typically occurs in the background and will be inconspicuous for some time, meaning it will take a while before the business finds out.  
  • Encryption: Once the ransomware has been distributed, the hackers encrypt the infected systems and collect sensitive information. They may issue a ransom demand and threaten to mess with the data if it’s not paid within a specific timeframe.  
  • Impersonation: Another way that hackers can infiltrate networks is by impersonating people you trust, such as a vendor, a colleague, or another contact. For instance, you may receive an email from a vendor asking you to submit your payment or the finance department reaching out for you to update your banking information. This can be an effective way to get you to give up your data, seeing as you believe you are conversing with someone trustworthy. 

How to avoid becoming a victim

The best way to keep your business data secure is by training your employees to identify and avoid phishing scams as well as working with a security solutions provider that can put a comprehensive ransomware protection strategy in place. 

  • If you receive an e-mail that appears suspicious, call the person you think it came from and verify it was really from them. 
  • If an e-mail contains an unsafe format like EXE, ZIP, RAR, TZ, and BAT, it’s best to avoid clicking on them to be safe. 
  • If an e-mail contains hyperlinks, ensure the link matches the text in the e-mail. 
  • Look for logos that look as if they have been altered, as well as misspellings or grammatical errors in e-mails from reputable institutions. 
  • As a general rule, never click on links or download attachments until you’re 100% sure that you know the sender. 
  • Partner with a vendor that can offer a unified ransomware protection solution to safeguard your business.   
  • Should the methods above fail to protect you, and you get infected, it’s important to have a comprehensive backup strategy in-place to ensure minimal data loss. 

Whether your data is on local servers or the cloud, we can help you protect against attacks from all angles.   

If you’re looking for an IT solutions company in Westchester County, NY, get in touch with us to ensure the safety of your company and data.