Types Of Phishing Attacks And How To Protect Your Organization

The image shows a lock and text in the image says, most common phishing attacks and how to protect your organization

Before launching their major onslaught, cybercriminals utilize phishing attempts to obtain sensitive data or system access information. Typically, a well-targeted ransomware attack or the theft of sensitive data to be sold on the dark web follows.

As a business owner, you must educate both your employees and yourself on the most typical types of phishing attacks that are likely to occur. Regarding IT security, prevention is always better than cure, therefore it’s vital to act early and identify scams to safeguard your company from potential cyber threats.

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What Exactly is Phishing?

Phishing is typical social engineering in which the message receiver’s data is stolen. This data often consists of personal information, usernames and passwords, and financial information.

Phishing is frequently ranked as one of the top five cybersecurity threats. So, how exactly does phishing work? When carrying out phishing attacks, attackers transmit a message whose legitimacy is falsified.

The communication (email, phone, SMS, etc.) is successful when the user believes it is a genuine request from a trustworthy sender. The attacker’s goal is to convince the victim to click on a link that sends the user to a phony website or forces the download of a malicious file.

An unauthorized link will attempt to deceive readers into providing personal information such as social networking or online banking account credentials. The vast majority of types of phishing efforts are not targeted and are instead distributed to millions of prospective victims in the expectation that some would fall for the generic assault.

Targeted phishing attacks are more difficult to execute because one must plan the assault and carefully distribute the phishing attempts. We’ll look at a few different sorts of phishing attempts and how they differ.

Types Of Phishing Attacks

Spear Phishing

A Spear Phishing attack happens when a phishing effort is designed to fool a single individual rather than a group of individuals. The attackers either already know something about the target or intend to learn more about it to further their goals.

Once personal information, such as a birthday, is obtained, the phishing effort is modified to include that particular detail to look more real. These attacks are more likely to succeed because they are more credible. In other words, the context of this form of attack is considerably more relevant to the target.


Whaling is a kind of Spear Phishing that is often more focused. On the other hand, whaling is aimed at specific individuals such as corporate leaders, celebrities, and high-net-worth individuals. These high-value targets’ account credentials often allow access to more information and, perhaps, money.


Smishing is a sort of phishing attack that is carried out by SMS message. This sort of phishing attempt is more visible because of the user’s notification and because text messages are more likely to be viewed than emails. With the growing use of SMS texting among consumers and companies, Smishing has grown in popularity.


Vishing is a sort of assault that is carried out over the phone. The attackers dial the victim’s phone number, generally using a pre-recorded message or a script. In a recent Twitter breach, a gang of hackers posing as “IT Staff” were able to persuade Twitter workers to pass up credentials over the phone.

What is the Process of Phishing?

Phishing fraudsters may target anyone who uses the internet or phones.

Phishing attacks often attempt to:

  • Malware infects your gadget
  • Steal your personal information to obtain your money or identity
  • Take command of your internet accounts
  • Persuade you to joyfully transfer cash or assets

These threats do not always stop with you. If a hacker gains access to your email, contact list, or social media, they can send phishing attacks messages that appear to be from you to individuals you know.

The combination of trust and haste is what makes types of phishing so deceptive and hazardous. If the criminal can persuade you to believe them and act without thinking, you’re an easy victim. Also check out how identity theft works. Read on in VPN.com’s guide to find out everything you need to know about identity theft, as well as the most effective methods you can use to protect yourself against it happening to you.

How to Prevent Phishing?

Organizations must trust that their users are aware and capable of recognizing harmful phishing attacks, particularly as phishing assaults get increasingly complex. Users should be instructed on the sorts of attacks to which they may be vulnerable regularly, as well as how to recognize, avoid, and report such assaults.

There are also a variety of measures you may take and mindsets you can adopt to avoid becoming a phishing statistic, such as:

  • Before you click or enter important information, always double-check the spelling of URLs in email links.
  • Keep an eye out for URL redirection, which sends you to a different website with the same look.
  • If you get an email from a known source that appears suspicious, send a fresh email to that source rather than just replying.
  • Avoid sharing private information on social media, including your birthday, travel itinerary, address, or phone number.

If you work in your company’s IT security department, you can put in place proactive security measures such as:

  • Inbound email is “sandboxed,” with each link a user opens tested for safety.
  • Inspecting and analyzing online traffic, running phishing tests to identify weak points, and using the results to train workers.
  • Encouraging employees to give you suspicious phishing emails—and then thanking them for it.


Your company cannot afford to be the victim of phishing attacks since it frequently results in something far worse, such as data theft or a ransomware attack. Such assaults not only endanger your precious data, but they may also harm your reputation as well as your IT infrastructure. So online protection is important to protect your organization from phishing.

Julius McGee

Founder of Nerd Alert

Julius is a founder of Nerd Alert and is dedicated to helping thousands of people with their Technology needs. He provides personalized tech help for computer setup or repairs, wireless networking, home network set-up and more.