How to protect your business from phishing scams

Concerned your employees could fall hook, line and sinker?

Octopus perfoming cyber security on a laptop

What are phishing scams?

Phishing scams are a form of social engineering attack which is used by online criminals. Hackers commonly use email, SMS, social media and phone calls to trick recipients into clicking on malicious links, entering login credentials or disclosing sensitive and financial information.

Once the victim has clicked on a malicious link, malware is downloaded onto a device. This could install keyloggers to monitor device activity (such as passwords and banking information), or could result in a ransomware infection which locks the device, encrypts the data and demands a summer of money in return for the decryption key.

In recent years, phishing attacks have become more prevalent and sophisticated. Internet criminals are  cunning. In order to lure their ‘catch’ they often masquerade as brands or individuals of trust such as an IT Manager, CEO, Government firm or Royal Mail/Amazon/TV Licencing company.

Both large and small organisations are targeted by phishing email scams.

However, there are two types of attacks, the first is a mass campaign where hackers send thousands of malicious emails, hoping for a few ‘easy wins’, the second type is much more targeted and involves detailed research of the business, who the decision makers are and what language should be used.

These kinds of phishing attacks can be far more persuasive and may just catch one of your employees off guard.

To achieve advanced phishing protection, you need to have a multi-layered approach to phishing defence. Read on to find out the top anti phishing tips.

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How to stop fraud emails: What is the best way to prevent phishing attacks?

Do you ever ask yourself ‘how do you stop phishing emails’? Well, there is no ‘silver bullet’ which will completely stop phishing attacks.

However, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from phishing scams. Measures to prevent phishing scams should include DMARC (which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance), which stops fraudsters from spoofing your email domain and using it in phishing attacks.

There are numerous benefits of DMARC, this includes: your employees and suppliers are less likely to fall for scams which do not come from your domain, it increases the likelihood of your emails not landing in a junk inbox and it will have a positive impact on brand reputation as your domain will not be associated with spoofing attacks.

Another way to help stop scam emails is to provide ongoing phishing awareness training to your entire workforce. Cyber Security phishing simulations and Cyber Awareness Education Programme’s can be used to test whether your employees would fall for a scam in a in a mock phishing attack scenario.

This is one of the best anti phishing solutions as it can help your business identify the employees who could be putting your security at risk, so that they can be offered further awareness training.

If the recipient does click on the faux-malicious link, they will be redirected to comprehensive training videos and quizzes. Although this won’t stop phishing scams from landing in your inbox, it is a good way to encourage your staff to be more vigilant and wary when it comes to clicking on links or downloading documents.

How can I stop phishing emails? Protection against phishing attacks should involve:

  1. Implementing anti phishing spoofing controls
  2. Phishing attacks solution: Providing continuous anti phishing training to staff
  3. Phishing email protection: Using outlook phishing protection to filter and block incoming scams
  4. Encourage staff to report suspicious emails and requests, and have clear phishing reporting protocols to follow
  5. Have a comprehensive and tested incident response plan, so that you know what urgent steps to take to reduce the impact of a phishing attack if it did occur
  6. Use endpoint protection and anti-virus to protect your devices from malware
  7. Use proxy servers and up-to-date browsers to protect users from malicious websites
  8. Use 2-factor authentication on email accounts to reduce the risk of phishing scammers compromising accounts
  9. Reduce the amount of publicly available information which could be used as leverage to conduct a convincing social engineered attack

Get in touch to find out how Equilibrium can help your business prevent phishing attacks

If you would like to speak to a Cyber Security expert to find out how we can help you implement an effective anti-phishing strategy. You can call our office on 0121 663 0055.