Phishing, ransomware, and email spoofing: cyber security advice for small business owners

  • 11 Oct 2019

The 2018 Cisco SMB Cybersecurity Report shows that 53% of mid-sized businesses have suffered a cyber attack in the past year, and, according to a study by Ponemon Institute, more small businesses than ever before have been affected by cyber attacks in the past year. The report cited phishing/social engineering and web-based attacks as the most common.

These videos give advice about how to protect your business from cyber attacks. Share them with your teams to educate them on cyber security, and what they can do to help. 

What is phishing?

Phishing rates continue to increase around the world and across most industries, and businesses consider it a significant problem. According to a recent survey of UK-based decision-makers, nearly 60% say they consider phishing emails the biggest cyber-threat to their businesses.

Phishing: how to protect your business

Watch out for:
  • A sense of urgency. For example, if they urge you to act now to take advantage of something or prevent something.
  • An overly generous offer.
  • An email or attachment you weren’t expecting/ from someone you don’t know.
What to do:
  • Employees should hover over links before clicking on them. If it looks suspicious, it probably is! Always let your IT team know if you receive anything like this.
  • IT managers can perform simulation exercises to assess how employees react to a staged phishing attack

What is Ransomware?

ransomware attack encrypts a victim’s data until the attacker is paid a predetermined ransom. Typically, the attacker demands payment in a form of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Only then will the attacker send a decryption key to release the victim’s data.

Using a mobile device off the corporate network

You could probably run a good chunk of your business from your mobile device. But what happens when you step outside the perimeter of your corporate firewall and log onto open Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or airport? The problem is that with most public Wi-Fi networks, information sent to and from a mobile device is unencrypted.

Cyber criminals see employees as a weak point in your business's security. But training and education will help turn this potential weakness into a strength. Share the above videos to start that education process and talk to your IT team about putting together a training plan. After all, security is everyone's responsibility.

Discover how Cisco's products can help protect your small business.

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