We’ve talked previously about how to protect yourself from phishing scams. But is phishing something you should even be concerned about? How does phishing actually affect businesses? Does it actually affect businesses at all?

The short answer: yes! A successful phishing breach against an organization can have serious impact and major negative consequences.

The impacts of phishing

Over the years, cyberattacks have changed. Now, phishing is one of the most common attacks an organization can face. And it can only take one breach for an organization to be seriously compromised!

Depending on what the breach is and how it took place, here are just a few negative consequences of a successful attack:

  • Data theft
  • Monetary loss
  • Ransomware attack
  • Credit card breach
  • Virus infection
  • Email contact theft

Of course, those are just a few common repercussions of a successful breach.

More serious consequences of phishing

In severe cases, business operations may be slowed down or even halted altogether as a result of a successful phishing attack. Even once the issue is “fixed,” the consequences can last for months or even years.

Business reputations can be seriously compromised as a result of phishing attacks, depending on the specific type of breach and vertical market. Some industries are required to notify clients, shareholders, and partners of data breaches and theft. As you might imagine, it can take a long time to reestablish trust with those parties!

When email accounts are compromised and contact information is stolen, it can be used in targeted attacks. Emails can be sent from the breached organization to their contacts.

How to protect against phishing

We’ve shared tips for avoiding phishing attacks previously. The key in all of them is be suspicious, don’t click on any links if the email is at all suspect, and always go straight to the website in your browser to log in.

In addition, multi-layered security approaches and employee security awareness training go a long way in preventing phishing attacks from being effective. Make sure your team knows to be careful what they click on.