HomeSecurityCyber SecurityWays Businesses Can Reduce Their Risk of Successful Phishing Attacks

Ways Businesses Can Reduce Their Risk of Successful Phishing Attacks

What is Phishing? 

Phishing is when a scammer pretends to be a person or organization you trust in order to get you to take an action that gives them access to your device, accounts, or personal information. They do this by creating a fake website, email, or text message that looks exactly like something from a trusted source. This could be anything from asking for your social media login info to your entire identity via your social security number. Scammers send these messages in order to get you to click on links or open attachments that infect your computer with malware or steal your credit card information.

Phishing attacks are designed with the goal of scaring people into giving up sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers so hackers can use them for malicious purposes such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and more serious crimes like wire fraud. In 2021, 83% of organizations reported experiencing phishing attacks. In 2022, this number is only set to increase with an additional six billion attacks expected to take place. IT Support Denver offers extensive tips and strategies for organizations to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

7 Ways Businesses Can Reduce Their Risk of Phishing Attacks

How phishing works

The first step in reducing your risk of phishing is knowing what a phishing scam looks like. Phishing is a type of fraud that tries to convince you to share personal information by impersonating someone or something you trust, such as an organization or company.

Phishing scams are usually sent via email, text message, phone call and even postal mail. In general, there are three types of phishing messages:

  • Impersonation – This type tries to get you to reveal personal information by pretending that someone else sent the message (e.g., Comcast).
  • Fishing expedition – These typically ask for specific types of information (e.g., Social Security number).
  • Vague reference – This can be tricky because it doesn’t directly ask for any specific data; however, if you respond with any sensitive information at all then the scammers will use it against you later on

Change passwords regularly

It’s important to keep your passwords as secure as possible, but you also need to be able to remember them. The best way to do both is by changing your passwords regularly (ideally every few months) and making sure that you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

You should also make sure that every member of your team rotates their passwords at least once per year, so they can access their accounts securely and without having to remember a complex new string of characters every time they log in.

Don’t click on pop-ups

Phishing attacks can happen anywhere, and they’re often most successful when you least expect them. Whether it’s a pop-up ad or a link in an email, social media post, text message, voice message or video message—here are some ways to avoid falling victim to phishing scams:

  • Don’t click on links from unknown sources.
  • Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know or trust.
  • Don’t give out personal information unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe to do so; if there is any doubt about the legitimacy of an inquiry or request for personal data (such as bank account numbers), contact your bank directly for confirmation before responding.

Understand The Risks of Remote Work

When you’re working remotely, it’s easy for phishing scams to go unnoticed. You may not see suspicious emails coming in from your team members or recognize a scam when you see one—and that makes the difference between protecting your business and being targeted by one of these attacks.

Here are some ways remote workers can reduce their risk of phishing attacks:

  • Understand that anyone in the office can be a target, even if they’re not in charge of what would seem like important information.
  • Recognize that sending attachments via email is risky; many phishing scams use this tactic to infect computers with malware and steal sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
  • Learn how to spot signs of a real email versus an obvious scam (e.g., typos). If something seems off about an email, don’t click on links! Instead follow these steps: 1) Write down the sender’s name 2) Call back on another line 3) Contact IT/Security 4) Check with others at your company who might know more about this topic 5) If possible, forward the original message (with parts redacted) along with any replies/attachments so we can learn more about how these messages work together 6) Report any suspicious activity immediately by calling IT/Security or contacting law enforcement directly through 911 or local police department

Educate Employees 

The most important step you can take to protect your organization against phishing attacks is to educate employees about the threat and how to identify fake emails and links. Cybercriminals can disguise their links so they look like legitimate business websites, emails from colleagues, or even social media posts.

Make sure that all employees know not to click on any link in an email they don’t recognize or one sent by someone they don’t know personally. If an employee receives a suspicious email, it’s best if he or she forwards the message directly back to you so that you can assess whether it’s authentic before anyone clicks on the link in question.

Set Up Periodic Training and Drills

Training and drills are the best way to inoculate your employees against phishing attacks. Eighty-four percent of US-based organizations state that security awareness training has lowered phishing failure rates.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Conduct regular training sessions for your employees about phishing emails, including how to identify them and what steps to take if they receive one. This can be done as part of an annual review or as a stand-alone session during which you include examples of legitimate versus phish emails that have been sent within your company. It’s also important to make sure all new hires receive this training before they begin work so they don’t become victims right away!
  • Have employees practice reporting suspicious emails within their department or team—and then reward those who report them accurately with prizes like gift cards or office supplies (not cash). This will encourage others around them to report any suspicious messages, too!
  • Develop a process for handling potential phishing attempts based on different types of scenarios such as what happens when someone fails multiple tests or when there is no indication whatsoever whether something is fake or real? The more detailed this process is, the better chance it has of working successfully in real-life situations because everyone knows exactly what needs doing without having anyone else’s help

Be Wary of ‘Urgent’ Emails

You should be wary of links in emails, text messages, social media posts, and ads. Even if you think the link is real, never click on it to find out. Never send personal information over email either – only give out your data over secure channels like phone calls or in person.

Phishing attacks are designed to trick people into giving up their personal information by pretending to be from a legitimate business or organization (e.g., ‘We have detected suspicious activity on your account and need those details for security purposes). They often come from official-looking domains but are actually sent from foreign hackers hoping to steal passwords and other sensitive data that can be used for identity theft later on down the line – don’t let them get away with it!


Phishing attacks are a growing concern for businesses. In fact, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), they’ve doubled in volume since 2018, with over 3 million attacks per day. And while phishing scams are nothing new, they’re becoming more sophisticated than ever before. This is why it’s more important than ever to know how to protect your organization and your employees from phishing attacks.

Post courtesy: Greystone Technology – IT Services Provider in Denver, Colorado.

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