How to Avoid Phishing Attacks and Maintain Your Security Structure

how-to-avoid-phishing

Avoid Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have always been an evergreen cyber threat for many companies. It is the one cyber security threat that hundreds of businesses face annually and is still an issue, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data.

Phishing attacks have evolved to become highly personalized and adept at targeting specific persons with access to critical systems.

This concern usually arises due to the practice of displaying and sharing so much personal information online, making it easier for cybercriminals to apply customized spear-phishing campaigns.

For the above reasons, technology alone won’t solve your phishing problem. Your business must provide ongoing employee security training sessions to help workers identify such threats before your firm becomes a victim.

Please read on to learn about how to avoid phishing and robust information security policies to help improve your security posture:

What Is A Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a form of cyber-attack where the attacker attempts to trick an unsuspecting victim into making decisions that may compromise their cyber security in one way or the other.

In 2019, the United States recorded over 1,473 data breaches, with over 164.68 million sensitive data exposed.

To protect your company, you must first learn to recognize phishing attack strategies to know the best countermeasures to use to stop them. However, the problem with phishing attacks is that they come in many forms.

These attacks use a form of spoofing to fool the unsuspecting victim into believing they are receiving valid communication from a trusted source.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks

All commercial and government/public entities are vulnerable and prone to phishing attacks. So, what measures can your organization take to mitigate phishing concerns?

Increasing Email Security

Email security is one of the most significant primary defenses against phishing your organization can apply. Be sure to monitor and reinforce stringent information security protocols like virus/malware scanners to check all emails, links, and downloads for anti-phishing solutions and other threats.

These programs actively block spoofed email addresses or blacklisted email domains from reaching your mailbox. Anti-phishing solutions also significantly improve email security since they prevent your employees from interacting with shady emails in the first place, thereby reducing email phishing attacks.

Create A Phishing Awareness Program

Your employees should act as your first line of defense when combating phishing attacks. Creating a “human firewall” that abides by all employee email policies should significantly curb phishing and virus attacks. The best way to do this is by creating a phishing awareness program that educates and trains employees to spot and report any communications that look or sound “fishy.”

Making your employees aware of the required steps to curb data breach incidents alongside existing verification policies that enhance data security standards will boost your firm’s cybersecurity.

Employing Verification Policies for Requests

Train your employees to always seek verification from their superiors using an independent form of communication before approving any fund transfer or sharing sensitive information. They must also refrain from replying directly to the sender as well. Instead, they should reach out to the relevant department head or supervisor to determine the authenticity of the email and subsequently obtain the verification that grants or denies the request.

Restricting User Account Privileges

Simply put, knowing how to avoid phishing hinges more on the amount of information you allow your employees to access and which sensitive data you restrict to specific personnel. Not everyone must have unhindered access to all of the company’s information and resources.

Be sure to entrust such privileges to a restricted group of employees who need them. This tactic makes randomly targeted phishing less likely to succeed. So, even if some credentials are compromised, the arising damage will be limited to that user’s system and level of access.

Increasing User Account Security

Based on insights from routine cybersecurity assessments like Penetration Testing and Risk Assessments—you can reinforce your firm’s information security using multi-factor authentication to boost the organization’s defense against phishing attacks.

These tactics employ biometric and token identity verification features that prevent attackers from using stolen passwords. Also, having employees change passwords regularly can enhance security further by rendering compromised ones useless.

Contact SCA For More Information on How to Avoid Phishing

Learning about cybersecurity procedures that help prevent phishing attacks can elevate your organization’s cybersecurity program. Do you need more information on how to avoid phishing or the necessary security changes you can make to better protect your crucial systems against these cybersecurity concerns?

Reach out to SCA at (727) 571 – 1141 for a free consultation on email phishing and employee awareness. We offer employee training reinforced through email phishing simulations to help improve your front line defense.

You can also download our Breach Notification Guide to learn about the breach notification laws and requirements in your state.