Gone Phishing

Have you ever received an email from an organization and something didn’t feel quite right? Maybe a name was misspelled or, perhaps, you’re a little more digital savvy and you noticed the sender’s email address was off by one character. It’s then you realize the email from your bank asking you to reset your password is not actually an email from your bank.

This is a textbook case of ‘phishing.’ The definition of this fraudulent practice is the sending of emails that appear to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as credit card numbers or, you guessed it, passwords.

Phishing is a major area of concern for the Society of Industrial Security Professionals. The society is comprised of 7,000 members who live in the United States and overseas in NATO countries. To raise more awareness about this security threat, the society hosted a national poster contest. More than 100 entrants submitted designs and nearly 1,300 society members voted on the final selection. And Tonia Burrough, Security Intern for Chugach Government Solutions (CGS), took home the blue ribbon and won 1st place!

“The focus of each poster is to concentrate on a potential threat we face as an industrial security professional,” Tonia said. “I chose phishing as my topic since it’s currently relevant.”

According to Caleb Sutton, Chugach’s IT Systems Administrator, the topic is, indeed, relevant. “On a given day we see approximately 2–3 phishing attempts that are reported to us directly by employees and our tools block another estimated 8–12 attempts each day.”

These attempts, numbering between 10–15 daily attacks, occur on a single floor at the Chugach headquarters and do not include CGS’s remaining two floors. Nor do these numbers include attacks that occur at Chugach’s more than 100 locations.

“It’s a constant threat,” Caleb said. “That’s why we have multiple protections to safeguard our internal services, including Multi-Factor Authentication.”

Phishing, and other online threats, will remain a growing problem in the increasingly technological world. To learn more about this ever-evolving threat, click here.

Thank you to the Chugach IT departments for all the work done to protect the corporation and our digital assets throughout our subsidiaries, and thank you to Tonia Burrough for creating awareness about this important topic.