Phishing poses a threat to all businesses and organizations. In fact, nearly a third of data breaches involve some type of phishing attack. Unlike other forms of cybersecurity threats, phishing uses psychological tricks to get people to expose their personal information, and thus it has been historically very difficult to combat.
Fortunately, there are several successful tools and processes that all businesses can use to stay safe from phishing attacks. In this article, we’ll dive into these techniques and discuss how you can apply them to combat phishing at scale.
Phishing is a constantly evolving practice and attackers are continuing to get more sophisticated with their techniques.
Phishing attacks are increasingly successful due to some subtle tactics, which include but are not limited to:
"Phishing attacks become increasingly risky when targeted at executives, managers, and others in the organization with access to sensitive information and/or funds."
Using email spoofing or business email compromise, an attacker impersonates the head of an organization or department to coerce employees into sharing sensitive information.
This often happens at particularly large organizations where a lower-level employee is less likely to question their CEO or head of department such as the CFO or HR. For example, the attacker may instruct employees to initiate a wire transfer to an external organization.
A subset of spear phishing, where the attacker goes after high-value targets such as celebrities or politicians. In general the conversion on this is lower since most so-called whales have security teams and processes in place to prevent such attacks.
However, the implications are much greater when they do happen, as such high profile people can often influence politics, markets, and more. The infamous 2016 leak of Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails was the direct result of a whaling attack.
This nearly undetectable scam involves attackers taking over ongoing email threads between the business and the vendor. Once they've subtly inserted themselves into the conversation, they can exploit the well-established relationship to attack the organization.
Attackers will impersonate a brand, internal employee , trusted external partner or vendor to gain and use inappropriate access to internal accounts to observe payment and deal processes.
Using this information, they send fraudulent invoices that closely or exactly mimic real invoices through a combination of spoofed and compromised vendor accounts.
Many companies want to implement the “best” technique or solution, but a successful approach to anti-phishing requires a comprehensive approach that may combine several different layers. Most companies will have to combine incident responders, intelligent decisions, and machine learning to truly protect against phishing.
Here we’ll take a look at the five most important techniques for combating and preventing phishing attacks:
With phishing getting more advanced by the day, businesses need a way to stay ahead of the attackers to avoid compromising their information security. Anti-phishing software can be an extremely valuable asset to aid in detecting and removing phishing attempts. IRONSCALES is a self-learning email security platform that provides all the tools necessary to keep a business safe from evolving phishing threats.
Try a free trial of IRONSCALES to see how you can keep your business safe from phishing.