Phishing, also known as phishing by IT security professionals, has been one of the most prevalent threats in recent years, especially for medium to large businesses. The main objective of these attacks is to trick employees into revealing sensitive information. The consequences can be devastating, making it essential to know how to protect your company and how to respond when a phishing attack is detected.
different forms of phishing
Phishing can take various forms to effectively deceive individuals. That’s why it’s important to understand what these different threats are in order to find the best solution for protecting your business with anti-phishing methods:
- Email Phishing: Cyber criminals send fraudulent emails posing as legitimate agencies such as tax authorities to obtain confidential information;
- Phishing via social networks: Fake profiles are created to send trick messages and steal identity data of multiple individuals;
- Phone Phishing: In this case, cyber criminals impersonate legitimate representatives over the phone to obtain sensitive information;
- Phishing via SMS: Fraudulent messages are sent by SMS to trick recipients into disclosing information or clicking on spoofed links;
- Spear Phishing: Attacks are personalized. Cyber criminals target a specific person or company by using real information to gain trust.
strengthen communication security
In order to effectively strengthen the security of your company’s communications, a number of measures must be taken. Here are some:
use spam filters
Spam filters are very effective at blocking unwanted or malicious email before it even reaches your employees’ inboxes.
Check All Email Addresses
Before replying to an email or clicking on a link, make sure it’s actually a valid email address. Cyber criminals often use similar email addresses to more effectively defraud their recipients.
Adopt two-factor authentication
For professional accounts, choose to set up two-factor authentication. It adds an additional layer of security by requiring another form of identification, such as an SMS code for example, in addition to a password.
Pay attention to links and attachments
Do not open attachments or click on links in suspicious emails, especially those requesting confidential information. So ensure the authenticity of the links by hovering over them.
Establish strict security policies
Define clear policies for the use of various business communications, including managing email as well as detecting phishing attempts and good computer security practices.
Respond to suspected phishing
In case of suspicion of phishing within your company, here are 7 steps to follow to react quickly and effectively:
- Isolate the incident: On first suspicion, isolate the incident immediately. Disconnect affected systems from the network to prevent the spread of the attack;
- Notify the team: Notify the IT team or your security manager about your suspicions. inform the concerned employees also;
- Gather evidence. Gather all the information you have about the attack. This could be a screenshot, a recording of an email, or anything related to the investigation;
- Block Access: Change all passwords for affected accounts immediately. This will block cyber criminals’ access to further information;
- Analyze the incident: Analyze the incident to better understand how it could have happened, and what information was leaked;
- Report the cyber attack: If necessary, report the attack to the relevant authorities like police or cyber crime agencies;
- Implement corrective measures: Based on what happened, strengthen your company’s IT security to prevent it from happening again.
Finally, protecting your business from phishing is essential to ensure data security and the continuity of your business. By understanding the different phishing methods used by cybercriminals, and educating your employees about the risks, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling for these experienced cybercriminals.