A couple of hotdogs from a questionable street vendor. A night of not-so-premium parking downtown. A haircut that looks like your mom did it after one too many martinis. Yes, in 2017, it doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot you can get for $10. But, you’d be wrong.
When it comes to what hackers are willing to do for a few extra bucks, you’d be surprised how low their prices drop. Not only are they willing to steal your employees’ personal data for just $10, but they’d also owe you change. According to a number of new reports, hackers are now willing to launch a phishing attack against any target you like, all for the low, low price of just $7.
Luckily, there’s something you can do about it. But, before we get into the details, let’s take a closer look at what phishing is and why your company should care.
Phishing for Information
So, what is phishing?
To put it simply, phishing is when an identity thief sends a fraudulent email to an unsuspecting user or corporation in the hopes of stealing their personal information and private data.
On an individual level, these emails will be designed to appear as if they are coming from a reputable entity – such as your bank, your school, or a financial firm. On the corporate level, phishing emails might look as if they are coming from a current client sending an invoice or a prospect offering a new bid.
They request sensitive data from you and then use that data for nefarious purposes, such as opening lines of credit in your name or selling your company’s private data on the dark web. Making matters worse, these emails are increasingly carrying ransomware, a program that can hijack your company’s devices and require payment before returning functionality.
Phishing for Dollars
While security concerns have been an issue since the dawn of the internet, the amount of phishing attacks have skyrocketed in recent years. The first quarter of 2016 alone saw a 250% spike in phishing attempts. And that’s far from the most staggering stat.
Since 2013, businesses have lost a staggering $1.6 billion to phishing scams – an average of $500 million per year. Unfortunately, this number is only rising. From January 2015 to December 2016, the amount of money phishing has cost companies increased by nearly 2,400%.
Over this brief time period, phishers have become exponentially better at extracting data from users and companies. In 2016, over 30% of phishing emails were opened by the victim. To fully understand how significant that figure is, let’s take a look at a few stats. The following industry open-rate percentages come from MailChimp, one of the world’s largest email automation platforms:
- Marketing – 17.81%
- Business and Finance – 20.97%
- Non-Profits – 24.89%
That’s right, phishing scams beat them ALL.
Put an End to Phishing Season
Yes, technology can be confusing, and the threats associated with it can be frightening, but the good news is you’re not alone. There are a number of products on the market that help protect you and your company from identity theft. Just be careful to select the right one.
Many services simply alert you to problems after they’ve occurred, so you’ll want to pick a plan that is preventative as well. This is why InfoArmor is proud to offer our signature credit monitoring and protection service, PrivacyArmor®, which goes far beyond traditional credit monitoring.
Here are a few reasons how:
- We actively monitor and notify your employees of all potentially suspicious activity
- We provide proactive alerts that notify employees about applications for credit cards, wireless carriers, utility accounts, and even non-credit accounts
- We monitor high-risk activity like password resets, fund transfers, unauthorized account access, compromised credentials, address changes, and updates to public records
- We monitor some of the most common social accounts for everyone in the family and provide alerts on vulgarity, explicit content, violence, threats, and other potentially damaging content so your employees can proactively manage their online reputations
- If an employee’s identity does become compromised, Privacy Advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so your employees can receive help right when they need it
- We also include a 1,000,000 Identity Theft Insurance Policy that will reimburse employees for lost wages, legal fees, medical records request fees, CPA fees, child care and more
Looking for even greater coverage? Our PrivacyArmor Secure™ service is the most advanced on the market. In addition to protecting the identity of your employees, we also offer Security Awareness Training -- an online solution to educate and train your workforce. PrivacyArmor Secure also comes standard with our award-winning VigilanteATI Accomplice® - cyber threat intelligence to protect your enterprise and network assets.
To learn more about the benefits included in the PrivacyArmor® plan, check us out online here. For information regarding PrivacyArmor Secure, view our official press release. And, if you’re serious about protecting your employees today, reach out.
It’s what we’re here for.