The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Phishing Attacks on Your Business
Eight-five percent of organisations have suffered a phishing attack. Phishing is the #1 delivery method for malware and the top cause of data breaches around the world and in this article, we will show you ways of preventing phishing attacks on your business.
One reason phishing is so dangerous is because it can morph into just about any type of deception, from an email that looks identical to a shipping notice from Amazon to a message that appears to be from a colleague in your company.
Phishing attacks an organisation’s most vulnerable cybersecurity link, which is its users. Humans can be tricked and are susceptible to psychological tactics such as fear, urgency, and the promise of a reward.
If companies in Sydney and the rest of the world don’t have strong cybersecurity protections against phishing attacks, the costs can be high. It’s estimated that nearly AU$25,000 is lost each minute due to phishing scams.
Standard Types of Phishing Attacks
Phishing can take just about any form and can be general or more targeted. For example, a scammer can obtain a list of your company’s employees and their email addresses and then target your organisation specifically using an employee email address in the “from” line to make the email more believable.
Some standard phishing attack types include:
- Malicious links that lead to a page that injects a computer with malware
- Link to fake sign-in forms for platforms like Microsoft 365 that are designed to steal login credentials
- MS document file attachments that are infected with malware
- Links to files in trusted platforms like Dropbox that immediately direct a user to a malicious site
- Dangerous URLs hidden behind image links, such as buttons
To stay properly protected from phishing attacks takes a two-pronged approach that includes both your employees and your technology.
Employees are the main target with phishing, and they need awareness to arm themselves. Technology is designed to reduce phishing email volume and backstop users with automated protections.
Employee Phishing Protections
1. Learn How to Hover Over Links
Approximately 85% of all phishing uses links instead of file attachments. Links can often slide through malware filters because the email itself doesn’t contain any malware or attachments.
It’s important for users not to be fooled into thinking links aren’t as dangerous as file attachments. They can just as easily infect a system with ransomware or trick a user into revealing their password or other sensitive information.
Users should learn to hover over all links they receive via email, without clicking on them. This will reveal the true URL, which can often uncover a phishing scam.
2. Be Aware of Phishing Tactics
Phishing scammers know all the emotional hot buttons to push to get users to click before they think. This includes using:
- Threats of punitive outcomes for not taking action
- Use of an authority figure to cause fear of not doing what’s requested
- The promise of a reward, such as a new sale
- Anger from seeing a “order receipt” from an order a user never made
Being aware of these tactics can help employees avoid falling victim to them. They should question the legitimacy of any email in their inbox that’s not expected or confirmed from a legitimate source.
3. Know Where to Go for Questions
Employees will often click a phishing email link because they don’t have anyone around to ask for a second opinion. It’s important that they have a trusted professional they can go to for cybersecurity training and questions If they see an unusual email in their inbox that they’re unsure about.
Technology Phishing Protections
1. Web Protection
Since so many phishing attacks use malicious URLs, it’s vital to have web protection (aka DNS filtering). This is a system that puts a layer of protection between your users and the internet.
If a malicious link is detected, the web protection filter will block the site and saving the user from the consequences of landing on a phishing page.
2. Monitored Antivirus/Anti-Malware
One of the standards of good cybersecurity protection is a reliable antivirus/anti-malware. When you add monitoring to this through an IT security plan, that means that any suspicious activity is immediately spotted and dealt with.
Using monitored antivirus/anti-malware can ensure that even if an employee tries to open a malware-laden file attachment, the danger will be stopped before infecting their device and your network.
3. Anti-Phishing Email Filtering
If you can reduce the number of phishing emails that get into employee inboxes, you reduce your risk of becoming a victim of an attack.
Anti-phishing email filtering identifies the markers of phishing emails and quarantines threats instead of delivering them to your users.
Stay Protected from Phishing with Managed IT Security
Managed IT security with GKM2 gives your Sydney business multiple protections against phishing attacks and all the dangers they bring. Stay protected and keep your data secure.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.