Data Breach and Spear Phishing

September 5, 2014
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The consumer allows you to capture their interaction with you, they expect you to remember their preferences, but most of all they want you to safeguard their data.

The consumer allows you to capture their interaction with you, they expect you to remember their preferences, but most of all they want you to safeguard their data.

I have credit cards from Citibank and Chase, an online account with Amazon, and the list goes on. All these businesses know me, and I trust them with my information. In return, I expect great service and my information to be stored securely.
 
The news about the Target data breach and other breaches are obviously areas of grave concern. ‘Not much,’ is what some experts are saying, but the thing we need to be careful off is that this information doesn’t get used against you in the form of personalized spear phishing.
 
What is Spear Phishing?

In the world of online, spear phishing is where a spammer leverages legitimate information to trick the recipient. Their bait can appear to be from a recognized person or company. Or you could get an email addressed to you asking you for additional information. If the sender can target the email to your needs, include personalization and grab your attention, they can trick you into doing a lot.
 
Savvy spear phishers add a multi-channel twist incorporating calls, verifying your address (or where you bank, where you shop or kid’s schools), they send the promised follow-up email, incorporate letters – anything to get your attention.
 
Try to avoid phishing by maintaining consistent branding in your communiqués, stick to a few from fields, give your recipients a way to audit your transmissions and, most importantly, train your front line to answer questions about your email program.

Remind the consumer that you will not solicit secure information like social security numbers, account numbers, or credit card information from them via email.
 
Finally, keep in mind that spammers continue because people routinely fall for their tricks – education is key, so do your part for your recipients.