Phishers Are Targeting Mid-Level Managers
After the recent ransomware spike, phishing has made its way back onto everyone’s radar. Phishing and data breaches are two of the most pressing cyber security issues impacting organizations of all sizes. Many organizations feel that their existing security measures have been increasingly failing to block phishing emails.
With the intensity and sophistication of phishing attacks increasing, sitting back and waiting for malware to hit the endpoint is not the right move to take. Many organizations have hardware in place within their infrastructure to detect data coming into the network to determine if the data contains malware or phishing attacks. The hardware in place has to match suspicious content against signatures or carry out algorithm analysis. Organizations also need to have a system in place that will produce consistent updates as threats change.
Why Is There a Rise in Phishing Attacks?
For cybercriminals, phishing attacks can be very profitable. Phishing attacks are often carried out by sophisticated groups. When phishing attacks are carried out by groups, they will typically have access to a variety of advanced tools and resources to organize mature phishing attacks. For cybercriminals, phishing is worth it and it is worth the effort they put into developing attacks and tools that can bypass your security measures. Phishing attacks can include:
- Getting access to emails, data, financial information, etc.
- Credential theft
- After an email account has been compromised, cybercriminals can observe a user’s email activity for insider information
- Sending a user a fake invoice requesting payment
Bad actors are constantly invading organizations, and they are finding easy targets, but the targets are not executive-level managers as initially thought. Bad actors are going after those who are constantly multitasking and are often overloaded with responsibilities, the mid-level managers. What makes mid-level managers easy targets?
Why Are Mid-Level Managers Targets for Phishing Attacks?
Attackers are directing their attention to mid-level managers because those in middle management typically have access to sensitive data and access to invoices. Mid-level managers are often under significant pressure to move through their emails as quickly as possible or they feel a certain email is more compelling. After a few minutes of research, attackers can find out what accounts a mid-level manager has access to and then present themselves as a vendor. By posing as a vendor, the bad actor can request a change in payment.
When a mid-level manager who has been targeted by an attacker clicks on a malicious email within the first 24 hours, there will not be much time to put up a strong defense. If the email makes it through the gateway, cybercriminals begin extracting data within hours of it being installed. Cybercriminals are sophisticated and they have access to advanced tools and resources, allowing them to quickly adapt to any basic security measure put in place.
While basic security measures can eliminate some spam, they can no longer put up a fight against today’s advanced phishing attacks. To better protect your organization’s infrastructure, preventing phishing and other attacks should be a priority. If mid-level managers and others are not thoroughly informed and educated on phishing attacks, the results can be disastrous.
Using Cloud Solutions to Prevent the Dangers of Phishing Attacks
There are several safety measures and precautions your organization can take to prevent phishing from becoming a disastrous threat to your organization. There are some hardware, resources, applications, etc. within your IT infrastructure, while other safety measures focus on your organization’s end-users. Implementing various tools that can seamlessly integrate will provide your organization with enhanced and effective protection against phishing attacks and other threats.
One of the viable solutions that can be used to protect your organization is the cloud. In the cloud, everything is constantly updated. Cloud solutions can be used to ensure mid-level managers have the safeguards in place to protect them from phishing attacks. A cloud-based email solution can identify and help prevent malware by blocking access to malicious files and by scanning emails as they come in. Cloud-based email solutions can also enable two-way communication that will send alerts if there are phishing attempts. The information obtained through a cloud-based email solution can also help fine-tune the software’s response, thereby improving the protection against phishing.
Ensure You Have The Proper Safeguards
Various phishing attacks can be used to target unsuspecting mid-level managers. Mid-level managers may see an email from an attacker posing as the CEO, and the mid-level manager will immediately click the email. While training and education may seem like a viable answer to preventing any type of phishing attack, many phishing attacks will still be successful because sometimes employees are in such a hurry that they will immediately click on a link without thinking about it. Sometimes employees will panic because the contents in the email appear to have come from a legitimate source, the request has an upcoming deadline, or there was a threat made to expose information.
Due to the risks of mistakes or lack of information, a comprehensive cloud solution is needed. Phishing attacks and other scamming tactics and techniques will not stop evolving. Attackers can obtain relevant information from online sources and place that information into a phishing request, resulting in managers believing it to be legitimate. Your mid-level managers need a solution that is adaptable and that can seamlessly be integrated into your infrastructure.
No matter the type of phishing attack, these attacks will all have something in common: the malicious actors behind the attack want to obtain as much information about you, they want you to fall for the attack, and they do not care about the negative impact it can have on your organization. Mathe puts the power of the cloud to work by helping ensure mid-level managers and all employees are protected against threats. Seeing the proper security measures and safeguards in action will give everyone within your organization peace of mind, and the protection cloud-based solutions can provide is priceless.
With over 35 years in the business of supporting and implementing technology for the SME market, and 6 years previously in Corporate IT and Voice. I have seen a great deal of change. The only common thread is I have always focused on the Business Wise application of Technology. We always try to look 5 years ahead of the current technology to make sure our clients are on the right track to meet current and future needs.