Employee Education in Boston: Lateral Phishing is on the Rise

lateral phishing attacks in BostonConsulting and strategy solutions are often asked to assist Greater Boston businesses with network security issues. One of the most significant issues facing businesses today is lack of employee education in Boston. Malicious emails, including phishing and lateral phishing attacks, can seriously compromise your organization and are becoming an increased security threat. The cyber attacks that we are seeing today are more complex and sophisticated than ever before – even small businesses have been targeted and attacked by criminals all over the world. No one is exempt from these threats, so it is more important than ever before to focus on education to thwart malicious emails in Boston and the surrounding area.

What is Lateral Phishing?

While you might be familiar with the term phishing, lateral phishing takes these attacks to a whole new level. Studies show that one in seven organizations have been victims of a lateral phishing situation. Lateral phishing is when an organization’s account becomes compromised and is then used to send phishing emails to other people within the same domain account or outsiders who have frequent contacts with the company. And yes, this means your customers, your vendors, your business partners, and anyone else that you and your team contact frequently via email. It can be a nightmare for any business that relies on their credibility, dependability, and reputation with customers and in the industry at large.

The study went on to discover that out of the organizations that experienced a lateral phishing attack, more than 60 percent of them experienced multiple compromises to their accounts. Any type of phishing attack relies on being able to elicit the trust that can only come from a custom, company-based email address. Attacks waged using free email services, such as a Gmail account, rarely make their way within the company at this level. While it is critical to employ anti-virus and anti-malware systems and levels of protection for your essential data, employee education in Boston and the surrounding area is by far your best defense. Even with all of the virus protection software in the world, all it takes is a single compromised account caused by a clicked on link or attachment to set the lateral phishing attack in motion.

Employee Education Programs

In addition to providing consulting and strategy solutions, 24/7 monitoring, and business continuity services, Synivate also offers employee education in Boston. When it comes to cyber attacks, your best defense is a good offense. Providing your team with the education they need to prevent these attacks from happening in the first place can reduce your chances significantly of being affected by a lateral phishing attack. If your staff can learn how to spot out an attack instead of just randomly clicking on every single email that comes into their inbox, you will do a lot to protect your business from attack. Today’s criminals will often personalize the emails to include the name of the recipient, their organization, along with other personally identifying data. They are extremely targeted and very fine-tuned, which is why they are more successful than they ever were in the past.

Some of the things that your employees need to look out for concerning malicious emails in Boston and the surrounding area include deceptive URLs that do not match the text that is displayed. One example is the frequent attacks on PayPal, which state the actual address in the email, but take the recipient to a malicious address where they collect the username and password for the Paypal account and either empty the funds or use it in some other way. Another example would be an email that pressures you by creating a sense of urgency, such as a problem with your bank account, home loan, or the IRS. If you click to respond in a panic, you might not notice that it is taking you to an alternate website to collect your data or get you to download a malicious file. Attachments are also another indicator, as many viruses and malware files come in the form of Word documents or .pdf files, as well as other commonly used files.

Be Prepared for Cyber Attacks

The more you can do in the way of network security through professional consulting and strategy solutions with our team at Synivate and employee education in Boston, the better prepared your business will be to fight against cyber attacks. Other things that you can do include having a backup and recovery plan in place. This will protect you if all of your data is lost or stolen in a ransomware attack. You can work with our team of IT specialists and technicians to get your system back online as quickly as possible to reduce downtime and prevent further access by the attacker.

Ready to get started? Contact our team to prepare your employees for a lateral phishing attack. Our professional services can help you be ready to stop malicious emails in Boston in their tracks. Just give us a call at 617-517-0704 and speak with one of our team members about your consulting and strategy solutions requirements.