Phishing is all about email fraud, which is a type of cyber-attack. A fraudulent person tricks the victims of such a crime into sharing their sensitive information such as passwords, financial information, and usernames. Phishing emails are one of the most popular ones and threatening online crimes that can target thousands of people at once. The advance form of this crime is Spear Phishing. It attacks a few targets using personalized emails. This personalization creates an assurance in the victim’s mind that the email is not a hoax.
COVID 19 Intensified Phishing Attacks
Many businesses are going digital in today’s world. We are relying on email interaction more than ever before. This reliance is exploited by phishing experts which convert them as one of the most threatening tools in the modern organizations that are tackling today. However, you would be questioning yourself if that happens or not? Based on the annual report provided by Proofpoint, 88% of businesses across the globe witnessed spear-phishing cases in 2019. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, these attackers have increased their attacks even more. To alert the usual public from this kind of increase that the FBI issued an alert as well.
Awareness is the Key
However, you should not be scared of your information being stolen and terminate your email accounts instantly. Education is one of the most powerful methods of prevention. If you are well educated about this stuff you can always be one step ahead of the attacker and protect yourself by protecting your privacy all the time.
5-Step Solution to Protect your Business Communication
There should not be just a single solution to protect your company instead there must be many layers of security. This article will guide you with 5 steps to apply to protect your business’s communications.
Step 1 – Develop a Secure Culture
The first step to protecting your data is password security. Despite the basic knowledge of variations in passwords for different accounts, we always end up with the same phrase for all the accounts. There comes two issues with this. First is, when the password indicates your interests directly, it is quite easy to guess for a hacker. The second one is that regardless of how safe your passwords could be, they must never be used the same for more than one account. If anyone breaches through your password in one account, multiple accounts can be breached as well. This should be taught to your employees to update/change their user account passwords religiously.
Multi-layer authentication must be implemented as well. The hackers cannot breach your security even if they have tricked you into disclosing your password. How does it work? Every user needs to provide multiple ways to verification to access their account. Mainly the user enters his /her password and gets an email or OTP to confirm the login. This could, however, also be pulled off by an authenticator tool or even a biometric scan. Both of these add additional layers of security. It is tough to steal someone’s fingerprint data as the authenticator apps reset the codes regularly.
Step 2 – Groom your Employees
It is quite crucial to examine your staff to ensure that they’re aware of phishing attempts and will inform about any suspicious notice to the company. To confirm this, send them feign phishing emails. You can ask the employees in these emails about their password, transfer money, or even participate in a competition to win a bumper prize. The kind of attack is hugely customizable so that you can masquerade attacks that are specific to your organization. Employees need to report this email, however, if they somehow hit the link, they are redirected automatically to a landing page, where the employee know about the error they’ve made and show them how to respond to such emails.
The best kind of phishing simulation solution is reporting to the security department so that they can take a look for yourself on who is falling prey to such fraud emails. This would help the employees a lot as you can pick those employees for special training and develop a future drill test. There is also a “report phish” button in the employee’s inbox for them to notify the email quickly without opening it.
Step 3 – Convert your Employees into a Defence Shield
You can offer a phishing awareness training program as there are many available out there for a very good reason. Training under these programs will help you to spot out phishing attacks and notify them to the admin or IT team. Additionally, they are highly interactive and often customizable so that you can configure them to your business’s needs.
The most powerful awareness training systems are packed with engaging learner-based things like quizzes, real-world examples, and videos. These personified attacks help the users a lot to know about the different types of attacks and also practice what they have experienced in a realistically safer environment. You can also track the records of different users and know about their status in the training that some pieces of training provided.
Step Four: Secure the Entire Company
There is a software that is used to track and protect an organization’s outbound and inbound emails called Secure Email Gateways (SEGs). Malicious content is then blocked by them so that it does not hit the user. This software is quite useful in preventing any attacks from outside. However, it’s not that great in protecting the network from a threat that has already compromised a user’s inbox security.
If you think of your network as your fort, the SEG is a large stone wall that stops any kind of attack from outside keeping the people inside safe and secure. However, the same wall cannot protect you from dangers that are already breeding inside. Due to attackers impersonating trustworthy senders like a key stakeholder, a sophisticated spear-phishing strike easily breaches the SEGs effectively.
These are the most effective and the best remedy to ward off any types of phishing threat that your business may experience in this digitized age. Implement these steps as early as possible and be secure!
– Mamta Sharma