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Fake LinkedIn profiles can damage your business

Business Technology | December 23, 2013

Think your employees can recognize the most devious forms of spear phishing, when cyber criminals state they are a legitimate business person in an effort to gain access to your company’s computer network? If you aren’t sure, you need to train your staff to recognize these attacks. As a recent story by PCWorld shows, phishing attacks are still a serious threat to businesses. And today’s cyber criminals are utilizing social networks like LinkedIn to stage their attacks.

Sneaky attack

The PCWorld story outlined a recent phishing scam in which a cybercriminal made a fake LinkedIn account for a fake woman who allegedly worked at a real online dating site. This imposter used the identity to accumulate followers at companies across the globe, and attempted to get enough information from these followers to break into business’ networks.

Caught Off Guard

The most chilling part? The PCWorld story makes it obvious that a lot of small business owners are seriously unprepared to beat back phishing attacks, primarily because they don’t make time to educate their employees regarding how to identify them. PCWorld cites a survey by ThreatSim that discovered that nearly 60 percent of 300 IT executives, administrators and professionals in U.S. organizations mistakenly considered phishing to be only a minimal threat.


The reality, though, is phishing is an extremely real threat. The PCWorld story cited the same survey that stated that more than one in four respondents reported a phishing attack that did lead to a material breach in their company networks during the last year. The message? Business owners need to take phishing seriously. And they also need to take real measures to make sure that their employees don’t fall for these scams.


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