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Is your company doing everything it can to avoid being a victim? If 2018 did anything, it highlighted just how vulnerable even the most trusted and seemingly secure companies can be to cyber crime. One of the most common ways hackers target organizations is through phishing; essentially using electronic means to obtain sensitive information (including personal login credentials, credit card information, etc.) usually through email, or other electronic messaging systems.

It can happen so easily – all it takes is one click on a malicious link and you can be in jeopardy. A recent report out of the United States indicates that the average phishing attack costs a mid-sized company $1.6 million. And, with 1 in 101 emails containing malicious software (as reported by Fire Eye, which conducted a review of over half a billion emails in 2018), it is more important than ever to ensure your staff and company are protected.

TLC Solutions offers a variety of services to manage all of your infrastructure needs, but it is up to you and your staff to be cautious when it comes to any electronic communication. A recent survey by Code42, a worldwide data backup and storage company, revealed 63% of the CEOs they interviewed admitted to clicking on a link they shouldn’t have.

Suspect emails often include:

Addresses that don’t align with the company they supposedly come from – Check the sender’s email address and verify it against an actual email address from the company.

  • Requests for personal information – Banks, credit card companies and others will never ask you to provide identifying or confidential information by email.
  • Links to other websites that you must click for more information – Hover your mouse over the link to show the website; it should have a full URL address. If you are concerned, open your web browser to go to a company’s official website or contact their customer support.

How do you protect yourself? 

TLC offers simulated phishing programs, onsite training and a variety of resources to ensure your staff are up to date on best practices for keeping your company’s data (and their own) secure. In fact, we offer one of the most comprehensive security infrastructures available. Beyond that, there are basic steps to take:

  • Never click on a link without taking the time to first understand where it will take you and make sure you trust the destination. This is particularly important if you are being asked for personal or secure information.
  • Don’t open attachments within an email if you don’t know the sender, or if the file name seems odd.
  • Keep passwords unique, secure and change them frequently.
  • Ensure staff learn the basics of how to recognize suspicious electronic communication, and have a reporting mechanism in place. It isn’t enough just to delete something suspicious.

Our hope is that 2019 will be a year of vigilance, caution and increased attention to cyber vulnerability. As always, TLC Solutions is here to provide you with protection against cyber criminals. We can help with anti-virus software, firewalls, software updates and multi-factor authentication (MFA) among other measures to help keep your company and data protected. For more information about training your staff or securing your computer systems, please give us a call.