The increased use of online methods has exclusively promoted and benefited the business of every scale. The integration of the latest technologies to deal and communicate with your customers over the internet has revolutionized the trade and exchange of information.
This highly concentrated interaction between buyers and sellers has also attracted many hackers or scammers, causing issues with their successful phishing attacks.
Phishing is a technique of stealing confidential information from different sources and damaging the valuable resources of the targeted individual. Let us first educate you about phishing and its threats before learning about the best anti-phishing practices below.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is an online method of hijacking sensitive information. It is a security breach in which the users are misguided by malicious phishing attacks to gain access to data, such as a credit card number, social security number, and password. An individual can convincingly become a victim of a phishing attack through malicious emails, malicious messages, and malicious links.
Phishing attacks are simply based on the principle of stealing private data and using this personal information inappropriately. These attacks are initiated when a legitimate-looking email or text message is sent to the targeted person’s device.
The phishing email or the suspicious message might contain relevant information that may seem familiar and convince the user to engage with the attached malicious links. This malicious link would take the user to a bogus website where the promising-looking content would oblige them to provide their passwords or credit card details.
This data provided is used to commit cyber crimes in the targeted person’s name. It is also used to breach the security of their bank accounts and insurance, where the victim might suffer from critical financial losses.
Techniques Of Phishing
Over the years, hackers and cybercriminals have come up with multiple methods that impose an alarming threat to either a specific employee or an entire organization. These phishing techniques are most commonly used and frequently dealt with by company networks to safeguard their sensitive research.
It is a phishing threat in which the domain name system or the DNS of the user’s device is altered to certain IP addresses. Pharming installs malicious code within the operating system, which automatically redirects the targeted individual to a malicious web page that gives the hacker complete control of their mobile device or computer from where the sensitive information can easily be extracted.
Spear phishing attack is a similar method where the targets are some specific type of people. These people might be senior executives of an enterprise or a cooperation head and are mainly aimed to be attacked by online criminals to secure their highly secretive login credentials and unconventionally ruin their valuable assets and resources.
Voice phishing or simply known as vishing, is another technique of spamming. The spammers use toll-free numbers to call users and act as if they are legit callers, like a bank representative or a trusted individual of your close friend. They successfully manage to trick users by getting authentication from them and end up achieving their personal information.
In this phishing method, the attackers are able to install an additional layer over some specific buttons on a genuine-looking malicious website. Clicking them will not perform any function. The endpoint users would press the same button multiple times, enabling the spam malware to be downloaded in the meantime, and the cyber attacker would illegally gain access to their devices.
A very common type of phishing technique is email spoofing. A legit-looking email is generated to trick people into gaining their trust, and within that email, it is required for the endpoint user to enter personal data. The familiarity of content convinces the people and leads them to provide authentic details about themselves.
Types Of Phishing Attacks
Apart from several methods and techniques used by phishers to manipulate and gather sensitive data from targeted audiences, there are multiple phishing attacks in which the hackers implement the practices mentioned above and seek access to an employee’s or a corporate network.
Phishing attacks that mainly aim to create misconduct against a targeted business or an organization by sending phishing emails are known as business email compromise or BEC scams. Business email compromise consists of all sorts of misleading emails sent within an enterprise to take an illegal command and cause exploitation of the company’s resources. BECs include the following types of email phishing scams.
The attacker presents themselves as the CEO or a senior executive and uses a bogus email to trick the employees, especially from the finance department. With their promising approach, they convince the user to provide confidential data as well as the valuable financial resources of the company.
False Invoice Requests
In this BEC scam, the attackers set their target upon the suppliers of various companies. The spammers display their identity as local or foreign suppliers and ask the respective firms to provide them with huge sums of money, which are transferred to the faulty bank accounts. It is a common practice targeted toward highly successful businesses, which has resulted in crucial economic losses.
Impersonating As Attorneys
Hackers are also known to commence phishing attacks by presenting themselves as lawyers or legal representatives. They usually target the employees of lower levels for the sake of their naivety and lack of experience. The scammers prove their authenticity to them, and in return, they are provided with secure company data.
In this type of phishing attack, cyber attackers hack an employee’s email account. They use their stolen identity in order to demand payments from different sources such as vendors and suppliers. Once the receiver is convinced, they engage in the transactions, automatically redirected into frauded bank accounts with the hacker at their disposal.
Anti-Phishing Best Practices
The most fundamental principle of operating and proceeding operations online is to assure the authenticity and security of any data being made available to multiple endpoints. The information, especially the personal information that may travel long distances online, must be prioritized and protected from the threats of a security breach.
Anti-phishing techniques are the best security policies and best practices that help eradicate the interference of hackers and enable users to communicate and share information without needing to worry about authenticity. Entrepreneurs from all over the world are becoming increasingly aware of the threat posed by phishing attacks. The companies have started implementing the latest anti-phishing tactics to improve their respective businesses and ensure the utmost security of their important information.
Following, you will find the best practices currently available that prove their worth within the market.
Use Of Strong Passwords
A strong password is the most basic and reliable type of encryption that can be provided to an email and an attached file to safeguard your information. The use of a password that is not easily decrypted reduces the chances of phishing to a great extent.
Strong and complex passwords can be easily generated using upper and lowercase alphabets, special characters, and numbers. In contrast, the use of info that could be easily guessed through your personality, like date of birth, phone number, or residential details, is highly discouraged. The frequent update of your passwords is greatly recommended as well.
Use Of Endpoint Encryption
Implementing strong security methods like endpoint encryption is another important practice of anti-phishing. The automated software that guards the network against multiple endpoints simultaneously ensures a strategic defense towards your network. It takes responsibility for your company data, and with multi-layered security, it completely blocks incoming breaches from different directions.
Instead of being harsh towards the employee who might become a victim of phishing attacks, the employers and senior executives should console the employees and encourage their staff to develop a habit of immediately reporting such types of incidents as soon as possible. The immediate treatment against that particular attack would help massively in reducing the intended losses.
Use Of VPN
In certain instances, individuals might come across times when they would find themselves working in public places. At an airport or in a library, there is an incredible exchange of delicate information that is taking place through public wifi, where the phishers are waiting for the right opportunity to hijack your communication. The use of such public connectivity is highly discouraged as it offers an extreme inconvenience due to the high interference of hackers wanting to steal your data.
An easy way to avoid these circumstances is to install and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN encrypts your communication and allows you to interact with your network securely in public.
Phishing Awareness Training
Since the Pandemic, the majority workload of every corporation has shifted online. This has resulted in an increased number of cyber attacks worldwide and an increased number of employees who have suffered from these attacks. This happened because they lacked basic awareness regarding the threat of phishing.
Training in phishing awareness should be implemented in every type of business, regardless of the scale. The spammers take advantage of their inability to identify the bogus emails and messages and successfully manage to trick them. The awareness of such approaches would be fundamental in eliminating any risk of information leakage.
Once the end users know what a phishing email or a phishing message looks like, they will deal with these attacks with utmost care and instant feedback. Following it, these cyber criminals could easily be traced down and can be stopped from phishing attacks in the future.
The misuse of cooperative data or personal information can heavily jeopardize the reputation of the user and the organization. Spammers have come up with different kinds of scams and phishing techniques to cause damage and exploitation of valuable pieces of information and resources. However, with phishing prevention techniques, especially awareness training about phishing, the threat can be minimized to an impressive extent.