Remote working has risen in popularity in recent months. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations big and small have had to change the way they do business, with the management and operations of most teams moving out of the traditional office setting and into the home.
As our fight against Covid-19 continues, remote working has become a mainstay in the business world. But as the number of remote workers rises, so has another trend…phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks have increased dramatically as hackers and fraudsters look to take advantage of the remote working phenomenon. Despite the rise in this type of cyber-attack however, many companies are not giving their workers the support they need to spot these scams, which means countless remote workers are falling victim.
Let’s take a closer look at the rise of successful phishing attacks and how companies can safeguard their workers successfully.
What exactly is a phishing attack?
As leading providers of phishing simulation, we’ve seen phishing attacks of all types and scales, from the laughable to the downright convincing.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that involves the sending of fraudulent communications, usually emails, from cybercriminals. These phishing emails are designed to extract sensitive information from the recipient, with payment details and logins viewed as prized assets. Some phishing scams direct victims to links or attachments which, if clicked, install malware directly onto their computer or device to extract sensitive information without their knowledge.
Just how common are phishing attacks?
Phishing attacks and other email-based cyber threats have grown exponentially in the past year. According to the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, UK businesses have reported a 14% rise in phishing. As a result, it is now the most common form of cyber-attack within the UK, and it’s also the most disruptive to the business community.
During the same period, the use of viruses or other malware and ransomware has fallen, making phishing the weapon of choice for most modern day cybercriminals.
Why are phishing cases rising?
The rise in phishing attacks directly corresponds with the increase of remote workers. Cybercriminals have evidently seen a gap in the market, with vulnerable individuals working from home prime targets for phishing campaigns.
Remote workers after all do not have the means to simply walk over to the next desk to quickly check with a colleague that a bank transfer request is legitimate. Neither do they have the in-house support of an IT team to hand. These are just two factors that are making remote workers more susceptible to phishing.
How can I protect my remote workers?
Awareness training is the key to reducing the risks of phishing within your organisation. Training should be delivered regularly to ensure workers based on-site and remotely have knowledge of the latest and greatest cyber threats.
Phishing simulation can be used alongside training to calculate risk and close vulnerability loopholes. Phishing simulation involves the sending of realistic phishing emails on your behalf. It’s designed to gauge who is vulnerable to a phishing attack, raise awareness, and educate employees about what to do when they receive fraudulent mail.
Phishing simulation should be part of every company’s cyber security strategy and will help to stop attempted phishing incidents before they can cause harm to your business.
In case the worst happens: cyber incident response
In the event that a breach does occur, you’ll want to know that you’ve got what it takes to respond quickly and limit risk sufficiently. For this reason having a cyber incident response team or experienced in-house department able to work through an incident response plan to limit damage and close the whole in defences swiftly.