Deloitte says 91% of all cyber attacks start with Phishing emails. So, it’s no surprise that one of the themes of Cybersecurity Awareness Month should be Phishing Defense.
The problem with Phishing is that it is an attack on itself, damaging to the person that it targets, but also a door to a much larger scale attack. It’s not just enough that individuals or organizations take action: both have their roles to play, each on their corners but also in unison.
Being so, how do people and organizations prevent phishing scams and make lives and data more secure?
Individuals can make a difference
Here at Right-Hand, we established that for this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we would work with the mindset of “Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Business.” It’s not only the InfoSec responsibility; it doesn’t end on the CISO desk; it permeates the entire organization on all levels.
And organizational defense against phishing is no different: it exists for individuals across the organization and beyond: phishing scams reach out to their homes, sometimes using personal emails to reach out to corporate data. See this example from one of my interactions on Reddit:
How can individuals do their part?
Know the basics
Everyone should know the basics of Phishing: what is Phishing? How are these attacks carried out? What’s at stake if we don’t fight the phish? The fundamentals of Phishing by themselves go a long way towards opening minds to a more defensive stance.
Learn to ID a phishing email/landing page
Trained eyes can spot phishing emails easily. But for most individuals, it is more challenging. To protect yourself from phishing, make sure they see the signs on messages and landing pages.
We have an article with examples of phishing emails that are perfect for beginners to spot the phish.
Organizations provide the tools and knowledge that help prevent pshishing
The hard truth for any organization is that no matter how sophisticated technological barriers like firewalls, phishing emails will bypass them. Attacks are more sophisticated, threat actors are more numerous, and backed by various organizations with various goals (some even political).
So, relying on technological barriers alone is not enough, and organizations must invest in employee-based defense. They achieve this by providing the tools and knowledge that empower the workforce to fight against a phishing attack.
Employee-based organizational defense against Phishing has three building blocks: identification, report, and response.
Fight the Phish with Identification
Users need a safe environment to practice their phishing identification skills. Phishing simulations like Right-Hand’s Phishing Readiness are the safest and most effective way of teaching the workforce in a real-life scenario, creating good cyber habits that will carry to their day-to-day work and life routines.
A well-executed phishing simulation provides solid data to educate and guide users towards long-lasting behavior that fortifies phishing defense.
Fight the Phish with Reporting
Once users are educated and know how to identify a malicious email message, most organizations fail to provide the proper reporting tools. In one of our recent surveys, almost 60% of them rely on manual, labor-intensive channels (Slack, phone, etc.).
Effective phishing reporting has to be easy and automated, not only on the act of reporting but also on the admin end, during the investigation. Right-Hand’s PhishArm has the URL analyzer component that checks every reported message for red flags, making analysis easy and quick.
In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are offering PhishArm for free for 12 months if you sign up during October. Click on the banner below for more information and to register.
Fight the Phish with Massive Response
Resolving one reported phishing email is excellent, but what if this message found its way into 1,200 inboxes in your organization? Will you send a “hey, can everyone please delete this message” email and pray?
Or will you automate bulk actions?
Right-Hand’s Email Quarantine Automation (EQA) offers an automated and massive response to threats straight on users’ inboxes. Admins can run queries to find identical malicious emails across all organizations’ inboxes and quarantine, eliminating or restoring them with a click.
This feature gives time to review and mitigate threats without risking the organization. After all, it only takes a single email message to take down an entire organization.
Individuals and Organizations must Collaborate
In the end, it’s all about working together. “Employee-based Defense” and “Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Business” are the same thing.
So, it’s essential that individuals and organizations: (a) take shared responsibility, making sure that they know what’s at stake and hold each other accountable, (b) learn the rules of engagement, from identifying malicious emails to knowing how to mitigate them effectively and (c) work together, reporting what needs to be reported and investigating it with due diligence.
As you can see here, we at Right-Hand help individuals and organizations of all industries, sizes, and tech-fluency levels to prevent phishing and build strong cyberculture. We know there is a lot to cover, and we are willing to take on your challenges in October and beyond.
Check out our Education Resources page for more basic cyber concepts.
Follow us on LinkedIn for cybersecurity news and events.
Also, make sure you register for the Front Lines, our Cybersecurity Awareness Month event, where we bring 15 speakers from all over the world to address the most urgent topics of our industry, including Phishing!