May 12, 2023

What is smishing, and how do you protect your business against it?

What is smishing, and how do you protect your business against it?

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face an ever-increasing array of cyberthreats. Among these threats, smishing has become an increasingly prevalent concern. Smishing attacks are easy to avoid if you know what signs to look out for. Here’s everything you need to know about smishing and how you can best protect your business against it.

What is smishing?

Smishing—also known as SMS phishing—refers to a form of cyberattack in which criminals use text messages to deceive recipients into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Like phishing, smishing aims to trick people into revealing personal or financial information but specifically targets them through their mobile devices.

Businesses are often targeted by smishers because they hold a wealth of valuable information, such as financial records, customer data, and intellectual property. By infiltrating a business's systems, smishers can cause significant financial loss and damage a company's reputation.

How smishing works

Smishing attacks usually begin with an email or chat message from someone claiming to be from a company you use — such as your bank, utility provider, or employer — asking you for personal information such as credit card numbers or passwords.

The request will come via email or chat function, which looks genuine enough for many people not to question its authenticity. In other cases, attackers will send unsolicited text messages claiming that they're from a well-known company such as PayPal, asking for personal information such as bank account numbers or PINs.

Origins of smishing

Smishing dates back to the early days of SMS technology when mobile phones were first gaining popularity. Over time, smishing techniques have evolved, becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect. Today, smishers often use a combination of social engineering, spoofing, and malware to trick victims and gain access to their targets' systems.

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Educate your employees

Educating your employees is one of the most effective ways to protect your business from smishing. You can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack by training them to recognize smishing attempts. Here are some tips for employee training:

  • Teach employees to be cautious when receiving text messages from unknown numbers, especially those that ask for personal or financial information.
  • Explain the common tactics used by smishers, such as posing as a legitimate organization or creating a sense of urgency.
  • Encourage open communication and reporting of suspicious messages.

If you already have software on your computer that protects against fraud—such as anti-malware software, anti-spyware software, or firewall software—it should detect the fake website and warn you not to go there—though these protections can sometimes be bypassed by sophisticated hackers.

Building a record of known/received smish scams

Another useful strategy for preventing smishing attacks is to maintain a record of past attempts. This can serve as a reference for future smishing prevention efforts and help your team identify patterns and trends. To create and update this record:

  1. Collect and document any smishing messages received by your organization.
  2. Include relevant details, such as the sender's phone number, the message content, and any links or attachments.
  3. Share the record with your employees to increase awareness and vigilance.

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Crafting a mitigation plan

A robust smishing mitigation plan is crucial to protecting your business. A comprehensive plan should include the following key components:

  1. Employee education and training programs
  2. A system for reporting and documenting smishing attempts
  3. A procedure for responding to and recovering from successful attacks

Periodically review and update your smishing mitigation plan to ensure it remains effective in the face of evolving threats.

High-stakes digital security challenges

Protecting your business from smishing is more important than ever in today's high-stakes digital security environment. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post, you can proactively safeguard your organization's valuable information and assets.

Don't wait for a smishing attack to compromise your business. Act now to protect your organization from this growing threat. Visit Robokiller Enterprise to learn more about our comprehensive solutions for combating spam calls, texts, and other cyberthreats. Secure your business's future with Robokiller Enterprise and proactively safeguard your organization's valuable information and assets.

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