What are Phishing Attacks? And The Problems They Cause

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Due to increased internet usage, companies have become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are tirelessly working to access company networks for varied reasons. Some want to steal business information to sell, while others want to wreak havoc on your business operations. Irrespective of why cybercriminals attack businesses, such attacks can wreak havoc on your business. They can lead to significant financial loss and damage the brand reputation that might have taken you years to build.

Phishing attacks are the most common cybercrimes that affect most businesses across the globe. Here is more detailed information about them.

What is Phishing Attacks?

Phishing refers to a social engineering attack that cybercriminals steal essential data, including credit card numbers and login credentials. It happens when a cybercriminal, masquerading as a genuine entity, dupes you into opening an email, text message, or instant message. Then, the attacker executes the attack by encouraging you to download an attachment or click a malicious link that will secretly install malicious malware that can freeze your system as a ransomware attack or reveal confidential information.

What’s worse, phishing techniques continue to increase in sophistication and quantity on a global scale. Annually, most attacks affect all businesses, both large and small corporations. Due to their popularity, size, and value, big companies experience many attacks monthly. So it would be best if you acted now to defend your business.

Even though you might have essential spam filtering software in place, these spam filters ultimately fail. Ideally, you should have a purposefully designed operational technology cybersecurity system that will help eliminate the uncertainty of cyberattacks.

What Problems Do They Cause?

Below, we have outlined how phishing attacks can impact your business.

1. Financial loss

If your business becomes a victim of phishing, it will probably experience a considerable financial loss. Besides the costs associated with the breach, phishing attacks can lead to penalties imposed by regulatory authorities in the event of breaches that violate PIPEDA and GDPR, to name a few. Also, you might need extra money to manage identity protection or compensate employees or clients whose data got stolen following the attack. Attackers can also transfer funds out from your organization’s account via impersonation through phishing.

2. Intellectual property loss

Besides financial losses, loss of intellectual property due to a successful phishing attack can probably be the most devastating loss. Phishing attacks can compromise trade secrets, formulas, research, client lists, and new developments. For example, a single project or drug patent can easily represent millions of dollars in research expenses for technology, pharmaceuticals, and defense businesses. When any of these aspects get compromised, they can set back your business and make it less competitive.

3. Reputational damage

You build your brand reputation on trust. Correspondingly, the public disclosure of a breach can lead to reputational damage that will taint your brand indefinitely. Irrespective of your business’ previous position, data breaches exert a strong negative perception, where the public sees your brand as untrustworthy for customers, partners, and employees.

4. Loss of productivity

Data breaches following a phishing attack can result in business disruption. After the attack, you will spend a significant part of the business trying to recuperate lost data and investigate the breach. In addition, your employees’ productivity will also decline as you will have to put many systems offline for cleaning and reconfiguration.

5. Loss of customers

A phishing attack can scare clients away from your brand. Most current customers might stop associating with your business for several months following a breach, while others will no longer patronize your business. Consequently, this effect can impact your business for an extended period, leading to more significant financial losses.

6. Loss of company value

Phishing attacks can cost your business a significant portion of its market value because many investors will lose confidence in your company. Some investors might no longer trust your brand and might transfer their finances somewhere else to secure their portfolio.

A successful phishing attack can have devastating effects on your business, including data loss, financial loss, compromised credentials, and malware and ransomware infection. Therefore, you must develop an extensive cyber risk management program to eliminate the uncertainty of cyber risks and safeguard your business against cyberattacks.

If you want to learn more about how you can protect your business against phishing and other cyber-attacks, contact us today.

What is Phishing Attacks? And The Problems They Cause

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