Spear Phishing Prevention
Find out what spear phishing prevention steps you can take to help fend off attempts.
95% of enterprise security breaches are from spear phishing; that means your business is highly susceptible to attacks.
Although it won’t make you immune to spear phishing, adopting good security practices and programs can prevent attempts from being successful. It can even deter scammers if they deem your organization’s defenses to be too difficult to get through.
By implementing various aspects of spear phishing prevention, you can build a strong foundation for your defense system to successfully fight off cybercriminals.
Table of contents
Spear Phishing Prevention
- Find out what spear phishing prevention steps you can take to help fend off attempts.
- Spear-phishing attacks: why they are successful and how to stop them
- Victims of spear phishing
- Phishing blogs: be wary
- Spear phishing best practices
- Best phishing protection
- Ward off cybercriminals with our spear phishing advice
Spear-phishing attacks: why they are successful and how to stop them
To understand spear phishing, you have to first know what phishing is. Phishing is fraud committed by a person masquerading as either a trusted individual or institution. They usually do so en masse with a “net” or generic email.
Spear phishing is basically the same thing, but targeted towards an individual or organization. They’re successful because cybercriminals go to the trouble of researching their victims to tailor their scams. The more information they have on their victims, the higher their success rate.
Victims of spear phishing
The scary thing is, anyone can be a victim of spear phishing. When surveyed, 97% of people can’t correctly pick out spear phishing emails. This means that anyone, from the computer-illiterate to the tech geek, can misclick and be phished.
Unfortunately, there are few employees you can trust to recognize spear phishing attacks 100% of the time. They’re only human, after all. This is why you need to have good software in place to catch those misclicks.
Phishing blogs: be wary
These may look harmless, but some blogs can actually be phishing ones. Cybercriminals bank on the fact that a convincing blog can have higher clickthrough rates, so they sprinkle blogs with malicious links.
On the flip side of the coin, if you run a blog, you should be wary of fake emails asking you to update your account.
Spear phishing best practices
Putting spear phishing best practices into place can make a significant difference to your cybersecurity. Below, we’ve compiled a few tips that aren’t difficult to implement in your workplace.
How to prevent phishing
The best way to prevent phishing is by using multiple layers of protection. A house with bare walls can barely withstand attacks; the same goes for your cyber defenses.
If you rely on only one prevention method, your organization won’t be so secure.
By stacking different anti-phishing techniques together, it’s like adding metal reinforcements to your wooden house. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses, but when combined, they complement one another perfectly.
Awareness is a key part of spear phishing prevention. If your organization can recognize tell-tale signs of phishing, that’s half the work done for your defenses. Some of the essential things to watch for are:
- Spelling and grammar errors: Cybercriminals use these mistakes to filter out people who are more phishing-savvy. Genuine emails from entities should be relatively error-free due to their professionalism and concern about image.
- Generic greeting: If you’re in touch with a real person or organization, they’d almost certainly use your name in the greeting. If the email says anything generic like “attn: email user,” that’s a red flag.
- Links or attachments: Scammers will try hard to convince you to click on links or attachments to install malware. Be especially wary of anything asking you to confirm appointments or reactivate accounts.
Having regular security training sessions can be helpful too. Your security officer can then inform your workplace of the latest spear phishing attacks so everyone can be on the lookout. They can also test workers from time to time to see if they’re able to pinpoint signs of spear phishing.
Best phishing protection
As we’ve said above, knowing what a spear phishing attack looks like can be tremendously helpful. But the other half of the battle is having an adequate defense system.
Standard office protocols call for antivirus software on every computer, which can block out some phishing attempts. But you must also reinforce this software with an anti-phishing program.
These programs can detect any spear phishing attempts that have made it past your antivirus program. They can also provide you with real-time email and link scanning, which means cybercriminals can be thwarted more easily.
By coupling your antivirus with anti-phishing software, you’ll significantly increase the chances of your trade secrets staying unrevealed.
Ward off cybercriminals with our spear phishing advice
So long as your business is still running, you can bet criminals will relentlessly try your cyber defenses. Because all it takes is one misclick for a security breach to happen, it’s vital you incorporate the advice in this article into your workplace’s habits. Having the proper spear phishing prevention in place can make all the difference in your company’s success or failure.