The weak point in your information security strategy is your people. There’ll always be somebody who falls for a phishing email and clicks on a dangerous link. It’s important to take steps to block dangerous emails.
All online phishing techniques send emails or texts that try to trick employees into allowing malware into your organization or to expose sensitive data. There may be a link to a malicious website masquerading as a legitimate site that prompts employees for login credentials. There may be an attachment that contains malware, including ransomware, that executes when the file is opened. Or the email can impersonate a legitimate contact and request information such as account numbers.
Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing. Rather than a generic email, these messages are targeted to specific employees and carefully crafted to be believable. CEO fraud uses an email that pretends to be from a senior executive and requests employees to make a financial transaction, such as transferring funds to the attacker’s account.
Learn more in Phishing 101: What it is, how it works and how to avoid it.
Protecting Against Phishing
Guarding against phishing requires both technology that attempts to block the phishing messages and dangerous websites, plus training that teaches employees to recognize them.
Antivirus software and spam filters can keep out malware, and web filtering can prevent users from connecting to known dangerous sites. All systems should be kept up to date with security patches. Data loss prevention software can help prevent data from being removed by unauthorized users. Use multifactor authentication to block hackers who’ve gained passwords.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about training employees is that you need to train all your employees, including senior executives. Senior executives are frequently targets of phishing because their passwords grant access to sensitive systems. Remind employees not to click on attachments from unknown senders, to double-check all URLs before clicking on them, and not to share their passwords via email.
Training isn’t a one-time process, either. New employees need to be trained, not just current employees. All employees need a periodic refresher. You can also consider periodically creating your own phishing email to test employees and identify personnel who need additional training.
With more than 3 billion malicious emails sent daily, there’s a strong chance they’re landing in your employees’ inboxes frequently. Even the best employee can have a moment of carelessness or inattention that leads to a dangerous click, but proper employee training in conjunction with other information security measures can help minimize the risks and the consequences. CCS Technology Group provides security services that educate your employees and guard your systems from threats. Contact us to learn more about protecting yourself from phishing and other cyberattacks.