7 Key Anti-Phishing Techniques To Keep Yourself Safe From Hackers

Phishing is a very common and dangerous form of cybercrime activity and has caused losses worth hundreds of millions of dollars to several organisations. It has, therefore, become imperative for organisations to arm themselves with updated Anti-Phishing techniques so that they can improve their security posture and face the threats posed by cyber-criminals and other adversaries.

To combat phishing effectively, it is essential to know its various types and how to counter them specifically. Some Dangerous types of Phishing attacks and ways to counter them are listed below-

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Deceptive Phishing

This is a common form of a phishing scam where adversaries impersonate a legitimate individual to steal their personal information and credentials. This type of phishing uses email threats to create a sense of urgency and lures users to the scam. To combat it, users should look at URLs carefully if redirected to unknown websites or if they receive an email in their inbox with a malicious link in it.

Spear Phishing

This type of phishing is highly targeted and often attacks specific high net-worth individuals or organisations. It is often well-researched and planned. The main objective of these scams is to acquire banking details by using a sophisticated attack. Such emails make use of individual names, company names or any other personal information which can trick the user into clicking on a URL or taking some compromising action. For protection against such scams, awareness programmes based on cybersecurity is a must.

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CEO Fraud

In this type of phishing attack, the scammers go for the big “whales” such as the CEO of a company or higher management. The phishing starts by profiling the target and stealing their login credentials. Business email scams are a combination of spear phishing, email spoofing and social engineering and are a steadily rising threat. A 2018 search report published an email thread which brought CEO fraud into the limelight by highlighting the severity of the problem.

Pharming

Phishing scams are turning savvy with new kinds of attacks like Domain Name System (DNS) cache poisoning. These attacks entice victims using fabricated emails to land users on a fake page dedicated to stealing their personal information. This a twofold process where the first step focuses on hacking the computer’s IP address and the second step involves trafficking users to unwanted web pages.

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Dropbox Phishing

These are cleverly masked phishing scams where the primary source of the attack is a malicious dropbox file. Once the user clicks the file, they are taken to a fake dropbox page which seems authentic and requests login credentials. To block such spam, you can use reputed email managing software which has automated active blacklists. For instance- Protonmail, eM Client and so on.

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The following countermeasures to phishing include undergoing training, knowing legal concepts, implementing security control measures and building awareness through better security practices. These practices improve enterprise architecture and make it suited to resisting attacks.

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Secured Login

The first and foremost security step should be the use of an HTTPS site rather than an HTTP one. Whenever you login from an HTTP page, there is no guarantee that your login credentials are sent in an encrypted format onto the main page. Further, two-way authentication or certificate-based login is a must for significant logins. This is a combination of a traditional username and password along with a code sent to you on your phone.

Implementing organisation policies and procedures

Every firm should periodically update their policies, procedures and processes to protect its users’ confidential data. That is the reason IT departments continuously put pressure on you for backups, restorations, and monthly password changes.

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Reporting

Reporting suspicious activity noticed in email accounts is a must for employees. They must stay alert for suspicious emails, links or attachments to maintain your security.

Digital Signature of confident emails

Adding a digital layer of security makes sure that scammers are not able to alter your content. This can be done using “sending policy frameworks”. A sending policy framework is a security measure used to block forged emails. Companies using SPF policies allow mail exchangers to check if the incoming emails are from an authorized host approved by domain administrators.

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Software Updates

You must keep your PCs updated by installing the latest firewalls in order to prevent email spam.

Handling of spam email

You can configure your Anti-phishing solution to take one of several actions when faced with an email phishing attack such as permanently deleting such emails, bouncing back to the sender, storing in a dedicated folder or junk box, forwarding the email to your cybersecurity head along with relevant tags or X-headers.

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Countering Man in the Middle attacks

In this type of attack, phishers collect short-lived single-use passwords called user-id passwords and attack organisations. The software can detect if there are many connections from one PC to your organisation’s site as this is indicative of a man in the middle attack.

As stated at the beginning of this article, it is essential to know various types of phishing methods used by phishers and understand how to combat phishing attacks.

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