In order to protect your self-storage operation from cybercrime, it helps to understand the most common threats and tactics used by cybercriminals. This week’s topic is phishing.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the preferred tool of cybercriminals, accounting for 93 percent of all breaches, which are conducted predominantly over email (2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report). In a phishing attack, someone masquerades as a trustworthy source in an attempt to bait a user to surrender sensitive information, such as a username, password, or credit card number. Another way to look at phishing is as a door where a hacker picks the lock and a phisher convinces the user to let them in.

The three most common types of phishing attacks on small businesses are:

· Deceptive phishing. A user receives an email that claims to come from a recognized source and asks a user to reenter sensitive information or make a payment.

· Spear phishing. A user receives an email that looks legitimate and may have information such as a name, position, company, or work phone number to trick them into believing the sender is authentic.

· Pharming. Criminals send users to a fraudulent website that looks legitimate. Unlike a typical phishing attack, victims don’t have to click a link. Instead, hackers use a computer to redirect the user to a fake URL.

Next week, we will discuss another top cybersecurity threat for self-storage operations: ransomware.

Download MiniCo’s white paper Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks: Information for Self-Storage Businesses.

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Make it a safe day!

Mike Schofield
President & CEO