How your team could be the heroes of your cyber defences.

Tech Blog
Cyber Security
October 3, 2023
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• Team members can play a significant role in preventing social engineering attacks by questioning the legitimacy of any emails they receive.
• Staying informed and alert to potential phishing scams is key to staying safe online.

What difference can your team make to your business's cyber security that your existing IT team,  antivirus, firewall and even IT support supplier just can not do?

The answer is staying vigilant!

By questioning the legitimacy of every email, your team could play a significant role in preventing a social engineering attack. If a clever hacker has managed to bypass every security protocol to get a phishing email in their inbox. They can only be stopped by a member of your team being suspicious of an email that looks not quite right.

In this post, we'll explore a list of questions to help you identify potential phishing attempts. These queries focus on suspicious links or attachments in emails, which are common tools used by cybercriminals.

Hyperlink Hazards

Hyperlinks in emails can be a gateway to phishing scams. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you encounter hyperlinks:

  • Are there hyperlinks in the email? Cybercriminals often use hyperlinks to redirect you to fraudulent sites where they can steal your information.
  • Does the hyperlink match the sender's website exactly? Hover over any links and check the link address. If it doesn't match the sender's official website, it's a red flag.
  • Did you receive an email with long hyperlinks and no further information or context? This is often a sign of a phishing attempt.
  • Is there a misspelled website in the hyperlink? For example, "Microsoft" instead of "Microsoft". This is a common trick used by cyber criminals.

Attachment Alerts

Attachments are another tool cybercriminals use to perpetrate scams.

Here's what to look out for:

  • Were you expecting an attachment from the sender? If an attachment seems out of context or unexpected, be cautious.
  • Does the sender ordinarily send you these types of attachments? If not, this could be a sign of a phishing scam.
  • Is the attachment a potentially dangerous file type? Files with a .TXT extension are typically safe, but files can be disguised with a different type of file extension.

Urgency Alerts

Sometimes the content is questionable.

Here's what to look out for:

  • Do you have to act right now or face unpleasant consequences? This is a common tactic to catch you off guard.
  • Is the request to click a link unusual? If a request ask you do do a familiar task in an unfamiliar way it's time for alarm bells to be ringing.
  • Is the request to click a link out of context? Does it seem odd a particular person would ask you to take an action, like your IT Department asking you to confirm your bank details.

Your Role in Cybersecurity

Not every suspicious email is phishing but you should always be aware of the potential red flags.

Remember - and spread the word. If anything about an email alarms you, do not click on any links, open any attachments, or reply to the sender. You are the last line of defense against cyber criminals. By staying vigilant and questioning the legitimacy of every email you receive, you can help prevent your company from falling victim to phishing scams.

The rise of phishing scams is a wake-up call for all business owners. By understanding these scams and how they work, we can all play a part in stopping them in their tracks. Stay informed, stay alert, and most importantly, stay safe.

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