Tips to protect your business from cybercrime

Read these simple tips to protect your business from cybercrime

As a business, it can be challenging to keep your cybersecurity systems up to date as fraudsters and thieves quickly adapt and exploit new protection methods.

Of the many malicious attempts, phishing is one of the most dangerous and most common threats, since it preys on human error. It involves a cyber-criminal sending an automated email or message to a large number of recipients, disguised as:

  • a trusted person or institution

  • a colleague asking for sensitive information such as bank account number, ID card number and passwords

  • a seemingly trustworthy link

After clicking the link, the cyber-criminal can search for information and use it to steal money or blackmail the individual.

‘Spear Fishing’ messages are more targeted and customised, with the cyber-criminal pretending to be a close relative, friend or partner. These are usually delivered via email, social media or dating sites.

As remote working increases, more and more of us are using our personal mobiles for work, which has led to a rise in phishing attacks. In fact, the number of mobile phishing attacks has increased by 37% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020.

That’s why it’s important to educate your employees about the possible threats so they can recognise an attack when it happens.

There are five common types of mobile phishing attacks:

  1. URL padding: when the real destination of the website is hidden by hyphens, leaving only the seemingly legitimate site visible. Example of this in a link -

  2. Tiny URLs are shortened links that lead the user to malicious content. It’s also possible to send these via SMS. Example of this in a SMS message- "Your company ID has been disabled until we hear from you ,Prevent this by confirming your informations at http//"

  3. Screen overlays replicate the login page of a legitimate mobile app in order to obtain a person’s username and password. This method is very effective and usually targets mobile banking and payment apps.

  4. Mobile verification can help the attacker verify that the target is a mobile device and send specific attacks to it. Example of this in a SMS message - "Congrats to 2 lucky folks who used 20 GB of our mobile data in 2019! iPhone 11 is going to Ellen Zonda and You JOEL. Clam now!"

  5. 'SMS spoofing' tricks the user to click a link by disguising themselves as a system update notification. When the user clicks on it, it intercepts emails, sensitive data or web traffic to and from the device.

Test your ability to spot phishing with this real vs. fake mobile phishing test by Lookout.

Test your cyber-resilience with the UK National Cyber Security Centre’s ‘exercise in a box’ toolkit. This helps small and medium businesses carry out tests in preparation for a possible cyber-attack.

To learn more about how to keep your business protected from cyber-attacks, take a look at our article Three essentials of cyber security to keep your business protected or speak to one of our business advisers.

This article was created by Hank Schless, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Lookout, in partnership with Vodafone Business.


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