Spoofing: What it is and how to avoid it

Cyberattacks cost businesses around the world about $15.80 million per company, according to estimates. And the number of security breaches has increased. In fact, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018 says that cyberattacks are now just as threatening as natural disasters such as extreme weather events and catastrophes.

One of the most commonly used scams that businesses are falling prey to is known as spoofing. Let’s take a closer look at what spoofing is and how you can avoid it.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing happens when a hacker gains access to your computer systems and is able to steal personal or sensitive information. That information can be as simple as passwords or as complex as business data.

You may have come across an attempt at spoofing before—for example, in the form of a suspicious email that promises cash rewards or an ad with questionable links. However, spoofing is not limited to spam emails. An intruder can use caller IDs or get you to click on a uniform resource locator (more commonly known as a URL).

There are several types of spoof attacks. Probably the most common are phishing emails, where you are sent a link and then given the option to download something. Even if you clicked the bait, usually nothing will happen unless you download the attachment.

How to safeguard yourself from spoofing

To protect yourself and your organization from spoofing, the best course of action is to avoid clicking any shady-looking links. And never download attachments unless you are absolutely sure the sender is legitimate.

If you have been the victim of URL spoofing, spammers may have attempted to infect your computer’s hardware with a virus. This is why it’s essential to install firewalls. Otherwise, you are putting your business—and your clients’ data—at risk.

You may think of cybercriminal activity as something that is unlikely to affect you or your business. But at the rate the threat is growing, it’s something to take seriously.

A 2017 Juniper Research report forecasts that the number of personal data stolen by spoofing attackers could reach 5 billion in 2020. The authors of the report expect businesses around the world to lose a combined amount of $8 trillion over the next few years.

On your side

If you take a proactive approach to cybersecurity, you are less likely to become a victim of a cyberattack. The first thing to do is examine where your walls of defense may be weak and get expert help to protect your organization.

A little self-directed proactive education can really help in this department. Take the time to keep up with industry news and pay attention to cybersecurity headlines. You can also follow our blog for everything you need to know about cybersecurity, spoofing and business data analytics.

Also, contact your as can a managed IT services provider. They’re there to help. All those years of experience providing IT support and managed IT services make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your business from cybercrime.