A Whaling What?

Whaling, also known as CEO fraud, is when cyber criminals impersonate business owners and leaders to trick employees into giving up sensitive information or even sending money.  Are your employees trained to identify whaling attempts?  We can help you roll out and maintain a comprehensive Security Awareness Training program for your business as part of a Managed Service plan or even a one-time project.

The key to preventing whaling and other types of social engineering attacks is for every employee who accesses your network to be well trained in recognizing and avoiding them.  Social Engineering is so effective because it can bypass even the best cybersecurity efforts.  All it takes is for one employee to receive an email from who they believe to be someone in a position of authority, and then acting on the request to give them passwords, confidential information, or sending a wire transfer.

Cyber criminals go to great lengths to pull off these impersonation tactics.  They are often able to find out who the C-Level executives are from a company’s website, stalk them on social media, and use all of that information to create convincing emails and sometimes even phone calls.

Here are some tips that can help prevent this kind of attack:

  • Slow down and think critically about the request. Is it something this person would normally ask for?  Even if it is normal, are they asking you to send information or money to a new or unusual recipient?
  • Closely examine the email address, is it their company email address? Are there any typos or misspellings in the email address?
  • Don’t open any attachment that you were not expecting.
  • Don’t click on any links in the email, they could be used to load malware on your computer.
  • Pick up the phone and call the requestor or speak to them in person to confirm their request. Note: there are incidents of cyber criminals using deep fake technology to initiate phone calls that sound like the CEO or other executive.  If in doubt, hang up and call the requestor back on a known number like their cell phone or business line.

Cybersecurity is an evolving discipline, we would love to help you keep your systems protected.

A great place to start is our Cybersecurity Checkup tool, which you can find here.  It only takes a few minutes to fill out and will give you a sense of where you might have gaps in your network security.

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