Phishing: A Persistent Threat To Businesses And Their Customers

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  • Q3 2018
  • Phishing: A Persistent Threat To Businesses And Their Customers

Businesses around the world are faced with numerous security threats like Malwares, Viruses, Spywares Etc. Banks are not exempted from these threats as they handle customer information, data and finances and various measures have been developed by which these threats can be tackled. However, fraudsters have discovered ways of identifying measures put in place by Banks to tackle these threats and as a result, targeted the Bank’s customers as they
are seen as soft targets. Customers can easily be manipulated as some are not well informed about the threats of fake emails and malicious messages through phishing in a bid to get confidential information.

Phishing is a malicious activity in which criminals try to gain access to user’s information, data or devices in order to
gain access to confidential data and information, which can be exploited mainly for fraudulent financial purposes. Since customers are very key to a Bank, a threat to them is ultimately a threat to the Bank. Therefore, it is important that customers are sensitized about phishing techniques and how to identify a fraudulent message.
Phishing emails usually appear to originate from a customer’s Bank, requesting for personal information such
as card number, account number or password. This is usually done using sites, services and companies that bear a striking resemblance to the Bank’s email or text message. Fraudsters also send mails asking customers to update their personal information by sharing a link to a website.

Here are some ways Banks can sensitize customers to recognize a phishing attack.

Requests for personal information: The point of sending phishing email is to trick you into providing your personal information. If you receive an email requesting your personal information, it is probably a phishing attempt. The Bank would never ask you to divulge personal Information via email;

Poor spelling or grammar: Phishing mails are sometimes poorly written and riddled with errors;

Generic greetings: Generic greetings such as “Dear Customer” should be checked carefully. It should raise a red
flag because most Banks would use your name in their email greetings. Phishing attacks can be successfully prevented through some of these suggested means: You should not be in a rush to download any attachment or open any link that seems suspicious; Use both antivirus software and an anti-malware tool. They are often provided by common and well-known security brands such as McAfee and Norton; If a customer did not make any complaint and still got a mail request, it should be ignored. If in doubt, contact customer care or visit the nearest branch of your bank;

Never Give Out Personal Information- Customers should never share personal or financially sensitive information over the Internet. Visit the real Bank’s website if in doubt.

In summary, Banks should continually advise their customers about ways of detecting and preventing Phishing. Banks should emphasize that there is no single guaranteed way to avoid phishing attacks, hence, customers should be advised to use personal discretion as new techniques of phishing are adopted by fraudsters daily. In cases where there are doubts about the authenticity of the email or message, they should be advised to contact the bank as soon as possible.
EAGLE EYE, Q3, 2018 26
Adeboye Adedeji,
Access Bank Plc

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