How to Guard Your Business Against Executive Phishing

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How to Guard Your Business Against Executive Phishing

Executive phishing is a term used to describe a cyber-attack targeting high-ranking company employees, such as the CEO or CFO. As the name suggests, this type of attack involves sending a fraudulent email to an executive to obtain sensitive information or money. While a phishing attack can target any employee, executives are especially vulnerable because they often access valuable company data. Executive phishing is a serious threat to businesses of all sizes. Executive phishing is a serious threat to businesses of all sizes. If you’re a business owner, it’s essential to protect your business against phishing across all levels of employment. ​​This blog will discuss what executive phishing is, how it works, and how you can protect your business against it.

What is Executive Phishing?

Phishing is a cyber attack that uses email or “bait” to get a victim to click on a link or give up confidential information. Phishing attacks are becoming more and more common, as they are relatively easy for attackers to execute and can be very effective. Phishing emails often look very legitimate, making it difficult for even savvy users to spot them. For example, an attacker might pose as a customer service representative from a well-known company and email the victim to click on a link to update their account information. If the victim clicks on the link, they will be redirected to a fake website similar to the actual website. The attacker can then use the collected information to gain access to the victim’s account or commit other types of fraud. Phishing attacks can be very costly, as the attacker may blackmail the company to sell sensitive information or shut down businesses until a ransom is paid. Executive phishing is the type of cyberattack outlined above targeting individuals in executive positions. Because executives have the highest access to business activity, they are a desirable target for a malicious cyber actor. Executive phishing is also known as “cyber whaling,” as whales are the biggest fish in the sea. Although this sounds like a “big business problem,” whaling attacks are often especially devastating for small businesses or startups that can’t afford to lose a key employee.

How do Executive Phishing Attacks work?

Hackers are becoming increasingly creative in how they ‘cast their bait’ for executive phishing attacks. They are not always through your email account; they can target you on any social media platform, such as LinkedIn, Handshake, etc. They can pose as fellow employees, interested buyers, journalists, or any attractive cover to increase their chances of engagement. The cyberattacker’s goal is to gain access to your system to steal data or plant malware. They will often use social engineering techniques to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or opening malware attachments. It is vital to be aware of these cyberattack methods and exercise caution when interacting with unknown people or clicking on links from unfamiliar sources.

What to Look for and How to Defend Your Business Against Cyberattacks

Here is a list of things executives and employees should look for to evade a malicious cyber attack:

  1. Email Addresses: Cyber attackers do their research on your company, and so they tailor their emails to look exactly like the business’s email with slight alterations. The hacker would modify an email address containing to to trick the careless user amid a busy workday. The email structure can also look the same as the standard email sent out by a staff member.
  2. Hyperlinks and Websites: The safest way to avoid accessing an unfriendly link is to not click on any suspicious links. To protect yourself from these attacks, it’s important to only click on links from trusted sources. There are a few different aspects to a URL you can watch for, such as the scheme. The scheme or beginning part of a URL will contain an ‘https:,’ where the ‘s’ signifies a secure network. A second part of the URL to look at is the top-level domain: .com, .gov, .edu, etc. If you see a top-level domain that looks unfamiliar or contains a country code, it is best to dismiss the message until verified by a supervisor.
  3. Spelling Mistakes and Vagueness: If you receive a message from a cyberattacker, it is crucial to look for spelling mistakes. Blatant spelling mistakes can signify that someone is not using their first language or translating a script. The same applies to vagueness. If someone engages in an executive phishing attack, they will not go into details that they can not verify using open-source information.

Security Solutions and Expertise

At Seamless Chex, we understand the importance of security for businesses of all sizes. We are highly motivated to counter the effects of executive phishing attacks. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, keeping your finances safe is essential. We offer a wide range of security solutions, from data security and fraud prevention to security consulting and training. We also provide a variety of payment processing options, so you can find the right solution for your business. With Seamless Chex, you can rest assured that your business is in good hands. Contact us today to learn more about our security solutions.

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