Every business is vulnerable to whaling attacks. Similar to phishing, whaling is a digital attack but with a much larger target. In this article, our IT support team in LA gives you an idea of what whaling attacks are and how you can prevent them.
The Basics of Whaling Attacks
Whaling attacks are a high-level form of spear phishing. In most cases, whaling attacks target C-level employees such as CFOs or COOs. This type of attack is centered on a hacker trying to manipulate the individual in question in order to obtain valuable information or money. The word “whaling” is a reference to the target’s comparably meaningful title.
How Whaling Differs from Phishing
Regular phishing is more broad-based while whaling is quite targeted. Phishing centers on spamming others through email. If only a few targets respond to the email messages, they are considered a success. Phishing attacks center on requesting money from the targeted individuals with the promise of a larger repayment in the future. The criminal takes the money and disappears.
Spear phishing attacks are different in that the attacker pinpoints his or her target, learns about that target and shapes the attack in a strategic manner. The spear phisher often selects an individual in a large company’s IT department, learns about his or her habits, and uses that information to develop a rapport. Social engineering is also used to obtain access to valuable information or transfer funds.
While spear phishing attacks zero in on normal people, whaling attacks go for comparably large fish who have the potential to transfer important trade secrets or a significant amount of money. Whaling attacks often stress the urgency of the matter. A sense of urgency encourages the target to act quickly rather than think things through. Such attacks are often made with the threat of PR exposure or an expensive lawsuit, encouraging the target to fork over the information or money. Other whaling attacks center on impersonating another individual to convince the target to turn over money or information.
Educate Your Team to Prevent Whaling Attacks
Employee education is the best means of preventing whaling attacks. Our IT support team in LA can help you educate your personnel. Detail whaling attack tactics to your team and encourage them to watch out for such attacks. If your C-level employees have social media, those accounts should be set to private. Furthermore, it will help if emails from outside of the organization are flagged for review.
Advanced Networks Is On Your Side
Our IT support team in LA is at your service. Whether you are worried about digital attacks or need tech assistance, we are here to help. Reach out to us today to find out more about our services and schedule an initial consultation.