Phishing, smishing, the security is missing!

Johannesburg, 30 Aug 2023
Cyber criminals use phishing to trick recipients into giving up sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
Cyber criminals use phishing to trick recipients into giving up sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.

In today's highly-connected world, where businesses rely heavily on digital communication technology, cyber threats are at an all-time high. Among these threats, phishing, smishing, and e-mail impersonation have emerged as particularly cunning methods that cyber criminals use to target businesses worldwide. For South African business of all sizes, these threats take on great significance, demanding our careful attention and proactive responses.

The art of deception

If you aren’t aware, phishing involves cyber criminals sending fraudulent e-mails or messages, with the aim of tricking recipients into giving up sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Smishing is a spin-off, where scammers employ SMS messages to achieve the same outcome. E-mail impersonation, on the other hand, sees attackers pretending to be legitimate entities to win trust and exploit recipients. These tactics have come a long way from the obvious scams, to more sophisticated ploys that can fool even the most cautious individuals.

South African businesses, like their counterparts worldwide, are not immune to the impacts of these threats. This is due to a combination of factors: our growing digital economy, the absence of widespread cyber security awareness, technological gaps and social-economic disparities. All these elements create an environment where cyber criminals can easily take advantage.

Taking the fight to the threats

To tackle these threats, a comprehensive approach is essential. This means using advanced technology alongside strategies that focus on people. While investing in top-notch security tools, such as those that filter emails and detect phishing attempts, is crucial, it's equally important to educate and raise awareness among employees.

Using technology wisely

Technology can be our ally in fighting e-mail and SMS-based threats.

Advanced security tools that analyse e-mail content and attachments using AI can spot potential phishing attempts, while strong e-mail security tools can help verify the legitimacy of e-mail senders, reducing the chances of falling victim to impersonation attacks.

Additionally, Endpoint Protection and DNS Security tools can block malicious links embedded in e-mails and SMS messages.

Empowering employees

As always, the human factor remains critical. Employees are often the first line of defence against these threats. Regular training sessions that familiarise them with the tactics cyber criminals use, coupled with mock phishing exercises, can greatly enhance their ability to spot and report suspicious activity. By creating a culture of cyber security awareness, businesses empower their employees to make informed choices, decreasing the risk of falling prey to scams.

Staying vigilant and reporting

By keeping communication channels open and encouraging collaboration, businesses can build a united front against threats. Encouraging employees to promptly report any suspicious communications empowers security teams to take quick action and thwart potential attacks before they cause significant harm.

Standing strong together

In a world where cyber threats are a real concern, South African businesses must unite in the face of phishing, smishing and e-mail impersonation attacks. The increasing prevalence of these threats calls for a comprehensive strategy that combines advanced technology with a workforce well-versed in cyber security practices. By investing in powerful security tools, conducting regular employee training and awareness, and promoting a culture of vigilance, businesses can fortify their digital defences and reduce the risks posed by these deceptive tactics.

As South Africa continues its digital journey, safeguarding both businesses and individuals hinges on proactive measures that anticipate cyber threats. Through collaborative efforts, we can pave the way for a safer digital future, where the trust between businesses and their clients remains steadfast and the integrity of our communications endures.

To find out more about Maxtec’s range of solutions to combat phishing, smishing and e-mail impersonation, or request a free cyber threat assessment, please send an e-mail to



Maxtec are distributors of market leading cybersecurity technologies that are trusted around the globe. We empower our South African and SADC IT Partners with best-in-class solutions, support services, and managed services to enhance their cybersecurity offerings and secure their customers’ data.

Editorial contacts

Perry Hutton
Maxtec Peripherals
(011) 803 6635