Phishing attacks have been around for a while now and can strike anyone at any time. However, reports and studies have shown that phishing attacks tend to peak every year around the holiday season, which just so happens to be the time when cyberattacks are at their highest levels. As global businesses and organizations continue to operate in a remote work setup, coaching your employees on avoiding cyberattacks is more important than ever before. Learning to detect phishing attacks is a skill that can save your organization from being targeted for a cyberattack. So how should you coach your employees? Here are some skills and strategies to employ.
Identifying Phishing Messages vs. Real Messages
Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated as time has gone on, which makes it more difficult for users to detect them. However, there are certain signs which you and your employees should be on the lookout for that may indicate a potentially fraudulent email.
- Asking for Credentials: Most companies offering services, such as those in the financial sector, healthcare, and tech, make it standard operating procedure to never ask for user credentials in an email. Coach your employees to be vigilant of these kinds of emails, especially if they didn’t prompt a password reset in the first place.
- Unknown Attachments: Email security services will typically automatically send messages with unknown attachments straight to spam folders or flag them in the inbox in some other way. However, some messages do filter through and these need to be recognized as fraudulent immediately.
- Typos/Misspellings: A classic sign of a phishing email, poor grammatical constructions and typos point to a fraudulent email.
The main objective of phishing attacks is to gain user credentials which the thieves can then use to access organization resources and data. This in turn makes phishing one of the top causes of insider threat incidents in organizations today. So, it is imperative to set up robust programs designed to safeguard your users’ credentials as much as possible. Password management is key here – ensure regular password changes and impose stringent security standards for these passwords. Encourage or mandate the use of supplementary security features such as two-factor authentication and password management software.
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