FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist
In 2022, there were over 500 million phishing attacks reported; doubling the number of attacks reported in 2021, with California ranking as the 4th most affected state. The meteoric rise in phishing attacks over the past few years is no surprise, as it’s the easiest type of scam for cybercriminals to fool people with.
“What we’ve been seeing is an increase in the use of voicemail and text as part of two-pronged phishing and BEC [business email compromise] campaigns… The attackers leave a voicemail or send a text about the email they sent, either lending credibility to the sender or increasing the urgency of the request.” — Jess Burn, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research
With the rise of phishing scams, PDF and invoice phishing scams have emerged as a significant concern for small businesses, specifically. These deceptive attacks, which use seemingly harmless PDF files or fake invoices as bait, can have devastating consequences for unsuspecting organizations. It’s for this reason that small businesses should seek out a secure inbox protection service for email communication.
Learn more: How Xobee can protect your email inbox
What Is A PDF/Invoice Phishing Scam?
PDF or Invoice phishing scams involve cybercriminals sending fraudulent PDF documents or fake invoices via email or other messaging platforms. These files are often disguised as invoices, receipts, job applications, or important business documents. The goal is to trick recipients into opening the file and unwittingly compromising their sensitive information or systems.
Example of a Fake Invoice
How Do PDF Phishing Scams Work?
- Deceptive Emails. Attackers craft convincing emails that appear to come from legitimate sources, such as banks, government agencies, or trusted vendors.
- Malicious Attachments. These emails contain attachments in the form of PDF files. When opened, these files may contain links or forms that prompt users to enter confidential information.
- Data Theft. Once victims input their data, it is sent to the attackers, who can then exploit it for financial gain or commit identity theft.
Impact on Small Businesses
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to PDF phishing scams due to limited resources for robust cybersecurity measures. Here are some ways these scams can affect small businesses:
How You Can Combat Phishing Attacks
To defend against phishing scams, small businesses can implement several key strategies. Firstly, they should focus on employee training and awareness, educating their staff about the risks of phishing scams and how to spot suspicious emails. Secondly, deploying a robust email security solution such as Hosted Exchange can help identify and filter phishing/spam emails before they reach employees’ inboxes.
Additionally, small businesses should consider using secure file-sharing platforms, regularly update software to minimize vulnerabilities, and implement two-factor authentication for added security.
Investing in cybersecurity solutions such as antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and endpoint security is also essential. Finally, developing an incident response plan that outlines steps to take in case of a PDF phishing attack, including communication procedures and mitigation strategies, is crucial for overall defense against these threats.
How Xobee Networks Can Safeguard Your Inbox
Xobee Networks offers you a secure, state-of-the-art solution through Hosted Exchange. With our advanced security solutions, you can sleep comfortably knowing that your email is delivered cleanly and without any malicious viruses or code — saving your business significantly in the long term.
Contact one of our highly skilled technicians now to get connected with our Hosted Exchange service.
Xobee Networks now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.
Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks