While 90% of all cyber breaches originate from phishing emails, traditional anti-phishing solutions have done a poor job of preventing advanced attacks. Cybercriminals have evolved tactics and leveraged new technology to launch successful campaigns and avoid detection on these legacy solutions. As phishing attacks increase in quality, quantity, and quickness of delivery, organizations need to adopt a modernized defense-in-depth strategy that combines technology and human insights to combat advanced phishing attacks like BEC, ATO, and VIP impersonation.
This post identifies three solutions to combat modern phishing threats and covers some tips for implementing an anti-phishing strategy that leverages AI and human insights.
3 Crucial Solutions to Combat Advanced Phishing
AI Detection and Remediation
Keeping SEGs up-to-date with current phishing attacks is manual and time-consuming. While SEGs were effective anti-phishing solutions in their inception, cybercriminals have adapted strategies to make SEGs less effective at detecting new, advanced threats.
In recent years, Security and IT professionals turned to AI-powered anti-phishing tools to reduce the workload and improve their ability to detect threats automatically. AI-based solutions don't just look for known threats like malicious links and attachments. They look at the message's intent to detect advanced, socially engineered attacks like Business Email Compromise.
Your AI-based solution must be sophisticated enough to offer an automated incident response and quarantine not only the phishing threat in question but all of the variations of the attack across your email environment.
Most importantly, over time, AI works as a virtual soc analyst and will learn from your industry, your company, and the communications flagged as safe or phishing and will improve its accuracy of detection and remediation, allowing your team to focus on more significant threats.
Security Awareness Training
AI alone isn't enough to protect against phishing threats. While AI can detect up to 99% of the threats, the 1% that lands in your employee's inbox can still do damage. Your employees are your last line of defense in protecting the organization from financial or data loss due to a successful phishing attack.
Regular Security Awareness Training will educate your employees on best practices for identifying various phishing emails. Your training should also include instructions on reporting suspicious emails.
Phishing Simulation Testing
Training only goes so far. Even with an extensive Security Awareness Training program in place, you'll never be able to expose your phishing vulnerabilities if you don't see who in your organization is grasping the training materials and who is just going through the motions.
Conducting Phishing Simulation Tests gives your employees a chance to put their awareness education into action while also allowing you to measure the impact of the training and evaluate additional needs. Because phishing threats take many forms and deploy various tactics, running multiple phishing simulation testing campaigns is essential. Consider launching training campaigns focused on seasonal events and industry and department-based topics. You can even leverage a real threat to model your simulation campaign.
How To Build a Human and Machine Anti-phishing Strategy
Before you build an anti-phishing strategy that combines AI and human insights, you need to get a baseline of what types of phishing threats are getting through to your employees. You also need to assess your employee's security awareness and determine who attackers are targeting the most to help you prioritize efforts and allocate resources to address all the vulnerabilities effectively.
Once you've identified your phishing vulnerabilities, you need to evaluate the effectiveness of your current anti-phishing tools. Are they meeting the mark? Are they letting in more threats than you're comfortable with? Is there anything you can do to improve the solutions' effectiveness without adding to your team's workload? Even if you can improve the effectiveness now, is it scalable to prevent future phishing attacks?
In the past, Security and IT teams have attempted to combine human and machine solutions to create an anti-phishing strategy by leveraging SEG solutions with bolt-on security awareness training. However, the decoupled solutions may not be enough for today's threats. Consider an all-in-one email security solution, like IRONSCALES, that combines AI and human insights and uses these two elements to strengthen its algorithms to improve real-time detection and remediation of current phishing attacks.
The last step is to shift the mindset of your employees. For many, your workforce can be seen as a security liability--not an asset. Building a culture in your organization where your employees are seen as part of the anti-phishing solution helps build awareness, creates accountability, and strengthens your security posture, as they are the last line of defense.
Conducting regular phishing simulation tests and running security awareness training campaigns is only part of the solution. Making it easy for employees to report a suspicious email by supplying a "report button" takes the burden and uncertainty out of notifying the proper channels. Deploying contextual, inline banners to suspicious emails can also create awareness and provide an additional reminder of what to look for to protect your business from phishing threats.
There are a lot of solutions on the market that offer phishing protection, but only one combines AI and human insights into one platform to combat advanced phishing attacks like BEC, ATO, and VIP impersonation. Request a demo to learn more about how IRONSCALES protects enterprise organizations from advanced threats.