Phishing: A Guide for Michigan Small Business

phishing employees

If you own a small business in Michigan, phishing is something you need to know how to prevent. Having good antivirus software in place is a good start when it comes to protecting your business from cyber attacks, but if you do not train your employees on phishing they could act as a weak link in your security systems.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a method that online criminals use to get hold of sensitive information that they can use to commit identity fraud or steal funds from your Michigan small business. During a typical phishing attack, a criminal sends an email to an individual employee that asks them to provide sensitive information or send a payment.

What Happens if Phishing is Successful?

A successful phishing attack can trick an employee into sending a payment to a scammer, or providing confidential client details to a criminal who plans to use them for fraudulent purposes. Both these types of attack can have devastating consequences for a Michigan small business. Phishing can result in both reputation damage and financial losses.

How to Train Employees About Phishing

Training can help employees to spot emails and calls that are part of a phishing attack. One technique that criminals use to trick employees into providing information is to pretend to be someone in a position of authority, such as a manager in the business or an important client. They then claim that the information is needed urgently to scare the employee into sending it right away instead of stopping to think.

A good training program can help employees to resist the scammers’ tricks. Training should emphasize that employees should always double-check that the messages they receive are genuine before they hand over sensitive information. It should also teach employees how to verify the sender is genuine, such as checking the email address that messages come from and double-checking that URLs link to the sites they appear to link to.

How to Set Up a Training Program for Employees to Prevent Phishing

It can be difficult to design a training program that will help employees take on board and remember the techniques they need to prevent phishing. For Michigan businesses, the easiest way to put in place a successful training program is to work with a managed IT company that has experience of developing cybersecurity awareness training programs.

Take Action Now to Protect Your Michigan Small Business From Phishing

Michigan small businesses need to start taking phishing seriously. In a study, one third of Michigan state employees engaged with a phishing scam, suggesting that employees need a lot more training to help them recognize phishing attacks. In the study, which featured a fake phishing attack, one in five employees entered confidential information. Training could help these employees to avoid falling for this kind of scam.

To take the first step in protecting your small business from phishing, get in touch with a managed IT company who specializes in cyber security for Michigan businesses today. Your IT provider can help you set up an anti-phishing training program to empower your employees in the face of cyber attacks.