The Ultimate Tackle Box: How to Fight Phishing

While the concept of phishing has become well-known at this point, how to fight phishing is unfortunately not quite as straightforward and requires a multi-layered approach. To begin, phishing is a type of cyberattack where an attacker sends fraudulent emails or messages to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information such as passwords or financial data. These attacks can be devastating for organizations, damaging their reputation and leading to both data breaches and financial loss.

Last year, phishing was yet again ranked as the leading type of cyberattack, and there is a reason why it’s so popular with threat actors. After all, the average cost of a social engineering-driven data breach recently surpassed a cool $4 million. In this blog post, we will help your organization “tackle” phishing with the ultimate tackle box to fight phishing attempts and protect against cybercriminals.

Build Out Your Policies and Training

90% of attacks target your organization’s employees, as opposed to your tech since it’s a lower-risk method with the potential for major return. As a result, the first and most important step in combating phishing attempts is to train your team on how to identify and report phishing emails. Employees should be educated on the different types of phishing emails, including spear-phishing, whaling, and vishing attacks. How to report phishing emails should be clearly stated in your company policies and procedures, and employees should be made to feel comfortable sharing this type of information with their superiors via as a result of a strong cybersecurity culture.

We recommend making training regular and fun when possible to capture your team’s attention, and introduced as part of employee onboarding to set expectations from the beginning. Consider using videos, or posting engaging visuals throughout your offices or sharing them via digital channels to keep phishing and cybersecurity in general top of mind. Regular training and awareness campaigns can go a long way in preventing phishing attempts, transforming your employees into a team of cyber-defenders.

Why do people fall for social engineering attacks? Emotions.

Cyber-attackers work hard to exploit natural emotions such as fear, curiosity, helpfulness, greed, urgency, and more.

Share The Emotions of a Social Engineering Attack with your team to help fight phishing.

Implement Email Security Measures

Organizations should implement email security measures such as spam filters, antivirus software, and firewalls to prevent phishing emails from reaching employees’ inboxes. Email authentication technologies such as DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) can also be used to prevent domain spoofing and email impersonation.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a very effective tool in your tackle box. MFA requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication, such as a password and a security token or biometric verification (like Face ID) before granting access to sensitive data or systems. Use MFA for ALL programs and systems to make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information, even if they somehow manage to compromise a user’s credentials.

Update and Patch Regularly

Keeping software and systems up to date is an essential part of your phishing tackle box. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software and systems to launch their attacks. Regular updates and patching can prevent these vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Create an Incident Response Plan

Organizations should have a well-defined incident response plan in place to respond to and mitigate the impact of phishing attacks. The incident response plan should include procedures for identifying and containing the attack, notifying relevant stakeholders, and restoring systems and data. An incident response plan will help you quickly know roles, responsibilities, and next steps in the case of a breach or incident, ultimately avoiding panic, minimizing downtime, and allowing your business to resume operations as soon as possible.

Tackle Phishing Attempts

In conclusion, phishing attacks are a serious threat to organizations. However, with the right tools in your tackle box, organizations can fight phishing to help protect themselves from cybercriminals. Through a multi-layered approach involving training employees, setting policies and procedures, and implementing security measures, your organization can recognize and evade email attacks.

Want to train your team to spot and avoid potential phishing attacks? Strengthen their phishing radar and reflexes with the Defendify Phishing Simulation Tool.

Resources & insights

How Do I Know if I Need Phishing Simulations?
You might be wondering, "how do I know if I need phishing simulations?" and we're here to tell you that they are for all businesses and employees regardless of size, industry or title. After all, it only takes one click on the wrong email to open the door to a cyberattack.
5 tips for phishing training program
5 Tips for Implementing a Successful Social Engineering and Phishing Training Program
The lack of enthusiasm around social engineering and phishing awareness training can be a royal pain for IT professionals tasked with keeping an organization's network safe. Though it can be challenging, getting buy-in from the entire organization is essential to combating cyberattacks from social engineering and phishing ploys such as business email compromise, invoice fraud, social media attacks, and various types of phishing.
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how to spot a phish blog image
How to Spot a Phish: Tips to Spoil Advanced Phishing Attempts
Join Shanna Utgard, award-winning cybersecurity trainer and success manager at Defendify, who will walk you through current phishing trends, their impact on organizations of all sizes , and ways you and your team can detect them.

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