Spear phishing is an attack that can come out of nowhere. It can come from within a business, chipping away at data and causing the infrastructure to bend and break, or it can come from outside through bots or a fault in your own security. No matter where it comes from, an attack is an attack, and you have to make sure that you are ready for it; so, here is what an insider threat does to a business, as well as what an outside threat could do to your business, given the opportunity.
An insider threat can be deceptive, cunning, and cruel
It can ruin your business, and all you can do is watch. It is likely that the perpetrator is long gone when the evidence starts to show or that there is no evidence until clients start coming at you with all sorts of accusations. Malicious employees are the ones who you should be on the lookout for, especially when it comes to tackling spear phishing. To learn more about spear phishing, a visit to the Proofpoint website is a good place to start.
How are malicious employees a sign of spear phishing?
They are often targeting your company for one reason and one reason alone: they want something that you have, and they want to take it in the most efficient way possible. Of course, this all sounds like they have some sort of personal vendetta against you. But the truth is, your business has access to data, lots of it, that includes your employees, your clients, and the business’s private files.
They want the data to sell on, or they have been employed by someone to get the data from you. It might not even be done by someone new to the company. An old, trusted employee might turn around and stab you in the back if the price is good enough. They might have been approached by someone outside of the business or another malicious employee within the company.
An outsider threat is just as bad
An outsider threat can be just as painful to deal with. It can take weeks or months for a perpetrator to get into your company from the outside. This is usually done through pretexting, a highly skilled form of manipulation that means that the perpetrator has studied someone for some time in order to accurately copy their online tone of voice. This can be convincing and more than a little embarrassing if you reply to this sort of email or message and it is later revealed that it is malicious, even though you honestly had no idea at the time, and you might have been caught off guard.
There can be a number of reasons why spear phishing coming from the inside or the outside of a business can be dangerous. Mainly because it is very malicious, and it is a targeted and honed attack that the perpetrator might have spent months planning and executing. This is a scary thing, and you should be very wary of it.