Home Science & Technology Nothing personal: training employees to detect a phishing attack

Nothing personal: training employees to detect a phishing attack


Phishing attacks started many years ago as simple spam designed to trick recipients into visiting sites and becoming customers. Meanwhile, they have evolved into the global criminal industry. In recent years, threat subjects have perfected their phishing techniques, becoming more sophisticated as people have become smart to traditional, explicit, and unrealistic emails, which are now often suspicious.

Increasing staff training and improving general awareness of cybersecurity has forced cybercriminals to change their tactics and use a more personal approach known as spear-phishing.

According to Survey on cybersecurity violationsphishing is the most common cyberattack among companies that have detected any violations or attacks, with 83% facing this in 2021.

Organizations need to understand what to expect from future phishing attacks. By taking advantage of the right digital security tools, organizations can reduce the number of phishing emails that fall into users ’mailboxes. It is also important to be aware of new phishing attack techniques employees possess all the knowledge they need to detect a potential phishing attack that goes unnoticed, including how the content of the attack differs from legitimate emails.

Keep up with challenging attacks

Much of the information spread about phishing attacks will soon become obsolete. Cybercriminals are constantly inventing new strategies to penetrate the organization’s defenses and win the trust of victims. For example, social media platforms such as LinkedIn can provide a range of information that allows cybercriminals to emulate colleagues and discuss the latest company news – all of which adds realism. spears phishing attempt.

There are different types of malicious content that users should be aware of:

  • Malicious attachmentsA: The overall goal of malicious investments is to install malware on the target machine. This can be malware that provides remote access to the victim’s network or steals information, extortionists, malware that sends emails on behalf of a logged in user, etc.
  • Malicious links: Links can lead to malware or fake login pages – most commonly for Office 365, accounting platforms, and other cloud applications – designed to capture credentials entered.
  • Email without malware: Some phishing emails rely solely on social engineering and do not actively use malicious content. Scammers are trying compromise business email (BEC) and CEO fraud often follow this approach and try to persuade the victim to take actions such as: changing bank details, transferring money, purchasing and exchanging gift cards, and providing confidential information about the company.

In order for organizations to best protect their activities, it is important that they have a centralized view of all activities and changes throughout the environment to understand when and how attacks occur.

No security solution can provide 100% protection against any type of cyber attack. Concentrated efforts are needed to strengthen the weakest point in the security strategy – the human factor.

Strengthening the surface of human attack

An e-mail phishing cyber attack is designed to get the target recipient to act the way they want – whether it’s clicking a link, opening an attachment, giving up information in response, or doing a business-related action (such as initiating a bank transfer). In almost all cases, the attack depends solely on the recipient’s interaction with the content of the email.

Whether malicious attachments or links are used, social engineering plays a significant role in phishing to convincingly deceive the user. Cybercriminals are constantly improving their business, making phishing emails and web pages look, sound, and feel more legitimate.

One way for an organization to ensure that users may notice a potential phishing attempt is to implement security training. Learning is a vital tool for teaching users the importance of safe daily habits as well as how to identify key elements of an attack.

In addition to suspicious links and attachments, users should be aware of the following items that attackers may use in a phishing campaign:

  • Sender / dispatch detailsA: Users should check who is sending the email first: take a close look at the domain from which the email appears to have been sent. Look at writing and using homographic signs to impersonate a company or an individual. Also note the email address and sender name. A mismatch of sender details is a good first indication that something may be wrong. IT teams and security services can additionally look at the IP address of the server that sends the email, the age of the domain, the DNS servers, the domain registrar, and the SSL certification authorities as ways to authenticate.
  • Recipient: Threats are often targeted at a higher-risk recipient, such as someone with access to financial information, intellectual property, customer data, etc.
  • Subject: Viewing the subject can help determine legality. Spelling errors, incorrect grammar and any other signs that the letter is unusual or abnormal from those letters that are usually received are a sign of a phishing attempt.
  • Body content typeA: Although most emails these days are HTML, it is important to note whether email supports the tags and links commonly used in phishing emails.

In addition to educating users and implementing training to recognize these elements, organizations can also be more proactive, periodically trying to phishing their users. Phishing testing provides IT teams and security services with feedback on where their security is weakest. Testing also helps strengthen an organization’s security culture.

Despite these measures to inform users about the risks, detecting phishing emails requires more than a simple check. This often requires a multi-layered approach to provide a deeper understanding of the range of actions taken before it is considered harmful. An action created by simply clicking a malicious attachment or link can only be partially recognized by this security solution. You may need the ability to centralize and view different data from different network environment sources and security solutions to understand whether suspicious activity is malicious. This means that if users fail to identify a suspicious email, security services can detect phishing attacks on their own.

Be vigilant

Phishing attacks can have a significant impact on organizations, including data loss, compromise credentials, ransomware infection, other types of malware infection, reputation damage, and financial loss. With the cost of hacking data reaching mass An average of $ 4.24 million in 2021, organizations cannot afford to ignore the importance of deploying a robust security strategy.

Deploying a multi-layered strategy based on detection, human factor enhancement, and full visibility minimizes the risk of successful phishing attacks while improving their ability to detect and eliminate them.

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