Which Phishing Attacks Are a Threat to My Business?

computer keyboard with phishing scam button

Today, cybercriminals use phishing attacks to try and steal information from you. But did you know that there are several different types of phishing methods for stealing data, including email phishing, spear phishing, executive phishing, and vishing?

These types of phishing scams range in style and method, and all are dangerous to your business. This guide will define the phishing risks so you can protect your staff and your company. 

What is Social Engineering? 

Social engineering is a technique used by cybercriminals to exploit individuals’ trust in order to gain access to sensitive information. This can be done through email, text messages, or phone calls.

Social engineering is dangerous because it relies on human emotions and vulnerabilities rather than on weaknesses in security systems. People are often tricked into giving away sensitive information because they believe the scammer is legitimate.

Social engineering is challenging to defend against, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best way to protect yourself from social engineering scams is to be aware of scammers’ techniques and be skeptical of any unsolicited requests for sensitive information.

What is the Purpose of Phishing? 

A phishing attack occurs when someone attempts to obtain passwords, social security numbers, or bank account numbers under false pretenses. Typically this involves sending emails or texts appearing to be from reputable sources, like your bank. The hope is that you will trust the email source and provide them with sensitive information.

What is Phishing?

Phishing scams are one of the most commonly used tools for hackers that want to steal money or gather sensitive data about you and/or your company. A successful phishing attack can result in a lot of damage done to your pockets and reputation.

Phishing is a scam that targets a specific individual or business entity to gain access to private information or financial data. This might include passwords, credit card numbers, or any other information that can be used to access valuable data.  

Over three billion phishing emails are sent daily. Phishing scams have been around for a long time, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. 

Unfortunately, cybercriminals continue to adapt their methods of attack. Today, there are more phishing scams and evolved strategies than ever before. 

Email Phishing

In a typical phishing attempt, an individual will receive an email from a company they trust regarding their account or services. This email might include a link to a website designed specifically to look like the real thing. If you visit this site and enter your private information, the scammer will have access to your account or data.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing scams are targeted attacks by cybercriminals. Unlike common phishing scams, which often target many different individuals with the same message, spear phishing targets specific people within an organization or business. The goal of spear phishing is to gain access to sensitive information or other data that can then be used for nefarious purposes.

Executive Phishing 

Executive phishing, also known as whaling, is similar to the email phishing scam mentioned above, with one major difference—cybercriminals use these types of scams against high-profile individuals. 

Typically, a hacker will impersonate an executive in an organization asking for wire transfers or sensitive data. The recipient feels compelled to assist an executive, not realizing it is an executive phishing attack. Cybercriminals use this tactic to gain access to private information that can then be used to access a person’s financial accounts or other data.


Vishing scams use the phone rather than emails or online sites to get their message across. Criminals, hoping to steal your private information, pose as reputable organizations urging for an immediate response. They might pose as a government or bank, tricking you into urgent action. 

Protect Your Business with Expert IT

Fortunately, there is hope for businesses that want to protect themselves from these types of cyberattacks. 

Ensuring your staff has adequate training on recognizing phishing attempts is the first step to securing your company. You should also rely on cybersecurity professionals for expert advice and data protection from everyday phishing attacks.