Know the Phishing Term and How to Avoid Attacks

Know the Phishing Term and How to avoid attacks

Phishing, which is a form of cyber-attack based on social engineering, is a top security risk for organizations today. Phishing techniques range from mass blasting emails and text messages to targeted attacks against individuals with very valuable information. Phishing attacks can be via email, text messages, social media posts, voice communications, and other media. Often, the content contains links to fake websites designed to trick into revealing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, account numbers, banking details, and credit card details.

Fake websites play an important role in phishing exploits, impersonating legitimate websites of trusted companies to instill trust in potential victims. Almost all organizations that use email, SMS, instant messaging, social media, or even voice communication are potential victims of phishing. In the past, attackers sent thousands or millions of phishing emails in hopes of ensnaring a few victims. The last few years have seen a shift to more targeted techniques such as spear phishing and voice phishing (vishing).

Today, phishing attacks are increasingly targeting executives, both because their contact information is often publicly accessible, and they tend to have valuable data. Cybercriminals then use stolen email credentials from executives to send seemingly authentic messages asking their staff or employees to transfer some money to offshore accounts or commit other types of fraud. This is one example of the modus operandi of phishing need to include three main components:

  1. Cybersecurity awareness and training, or training and awareness of cybersecurity
  2. Email security or email security
  3. Web address filtering, or filtering website addresses.

To prevent successful phishing attacks, the following actions are strongly recommended:

  • Conduct programs for security awareness and cybersecurity training for employees and continue to measure their effectiveness.
  • Security with Secure Web Gateway (SWG) devices that can detect web attacks with URL filtering techniques, visibility, and inspection of data traffic both Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  • Ensure that email security systems are validated by independent third party testers
  • Inform employees immediately upon detection of a specific phishing exploit
  1. Cyber security awareness and training

Are some of the main areas that security leaders need to evaluate in evaluating their cyber security awareness program, including:

  • Define metrics for behavior change such as number of help-desk tickets related to security issues and users experiencing phishing schemes
  • Surveys or quizzes on employees to measure motivation, abilities, and triggers to find out what employees actually know and how much they tend to act on that knowledge.
  • Repeat surveys periodically to measure trends

     2. Email Security

Email security tools must provide three basic capabilities to stop phishing attacks:

  • Ability to cope with the risks posed by the ever-changing and accelerating threat landscape
  • Ability to help organizations move from a reactive security posture to a more proactive security posture
  • Provides measurable Return on Investment (ROI) information

3. Web Address Filtering (WAF)

With Web Address Filtering (WAF) or website address filtering, it will limit access to web addresses based on a database of known information about a particular website. The WAF solution will allow access to sites that are known to be safe (white-list) or prohibit access to sites that are dangerous because they contain phishing and malware attacks (black-list). And because of the dynamics of malicious websites, the solution from top-tier WAF tools of course uses machine learning methods and threat intelligence subscription services to stay up-to-date.