In the past, hackers targeted consumers in their phishing attacks. That’s why the first priority of companies was to protect their consumers from malware. However, phishing is considered the biggest cyber attack for companies today and is responsible for almost 100% of security vulnerabilities. Since cyber security measures are not at a level that can prevent all phishing attacks, your employees need training on what to pay attention to to protect themselves from these attacks. Phishing attacks are getting more complex day by day. Although there are dozens of methods that can be used, hackers usually prefer a handful of methods. In this article, we will talk about 7 things you should teach in training.
7 Things You Should Teach in Training: What is Phishing?
In phishing, hackers try to steal your personal information by impersonating a well-known brand and redirecting you to a fake site. The famous Office 365 phishing attack is a good example of this. In that attack, hackers sent users an email that appears to be from Microsoft, asking them to log into your account. If the user clicks on the fake link sent they were taken to a fake ogin screen. This screen is designed to collect their sensitive data. If you’re not trained in phishing, you may not realize it’s a phishing because of the Microsoft logo on both the email and the phishing page.
7 Things You Should Teach in Training
7 Things You Should Teach in Training
1. Attacks are becoming more targeted and personal
Hackers used to send emails to many users at once. So, when addressing you they used to use phrases such as “employee”, “patient” or “customer” rather than your name. You should be wary of such expressions because professional organizations prefer to address you by name when sending an email. Of course, using your name does not make an email 100% reliable. Today, phishers try to make you more prone to scam by adding your name in the subject line and pre-filling your email address on the phishing website.
2. Phishing emails may contain brand logos and images
Brand images and logos do not make the email trustworthy. Usually, the images and logos are available to everyone and hackers can download them over the internet or easily imitate them. While email filters can easily detect a known phishing URL, they cannot detect a fake image without machine learning or using another advanced method. For this, extra attention should be paid to brand images and logos.
3. Hackers use more complex phishing emails
You should read your emails carefully, not just look at them. Hackers organize most phishing attacks from different countries. Although this may cause some grammatical mistakes, hackers manage to make their attacks complex. They are able to create clean emails in every language and they make less mistakes day by day. Paying attention to both glaring and minor grammatical mistakes in the emails you receive will help you to understand the credibility of the sender.
4. Threatening or tempting texts
Inducing a sense of panic, urgency or curiosity is a common method used by hackers. You are more likely to respond quickly to an email in case of a possible loss or gain of money, and hackers use it to their advantage.
These aggressively written emails or messages that prompt you to take immediate action are usually a trap. Emails written in this way aim to steal your personal information by scaring you. Some spear phishing attacks send you emails that appear to come from a co-worker to instill fear of the consequences you may face at work. Emails from your CEO urgently requesting a gift card or bank transfer are the best examples of spear phishing. Such an email from your superior will cause you a sense of panic and you will feel the need to reply as soon as possible without thinking about it.
5. Email addresses can be deceptive
You should not trust an email address based solely on its apparent sender. Hackers use many methods to make their emails deceptive. They know very well how to make you believe the sender is trustworthy. The two most common methods hackers use to deceive you are cousin domains and display name spoofing.
- Cousin domain name
The cousin domain looks exactly like the original domain name but hackers make a small change to trick you. They may try to scam you by using facebook.co instead of facebook.com. Hackers may also use extensions like facebook-support.org, facebook-logins.net to trick you. There is also an increase in use of long and confusing subdomains such as firstname.lastname@example.org
- Display name spoofing
Hackers use a well known brand’s email address as the sender in display name spoofing. However there is a random address under that email address. Display name spoofing is more difficult to spot when you log into your email from a mobile device. Because when you are using a mobile device, the sender’s email address is usually hidden. Hackers also continue to use this method, relying on most mobile device users don’t look up the sender’s name.
6. Links are usually fake
Hackers use links in almost every phishing email, but phishing links are more complicated. The link you see may take you to a phishing page while it looks like it will direct you to a trusted site. Don’t forget to check the popup that will show you where the link will take you; If it’s not a reliable website, chances are you’ve encountered a phishing attack.
Your employees should make sure that the source of the URL is reliable. They should be extra wary of URLs ending in an alternative domain other than .com or .org. Additionally, hackers can try to bypass email filters and trick you by making use of URL shortening websites like Bitly. If you suspect such a situation, you can use our Incident Response tool to report the suspicious mail. With our tool you can send the email to us using just one click. We will analyze the email’s sender, links and attachments carefully. Click here to find out more.
7. Attachments may contain phishing links
We mentioned earlier that all phishing emails contain a link, but that link may not always be in the email. To circumvent the email security filter, hackers may choose to place the phishing link in an attachment document such as a PDF or Word file. Your incoming email looks safe because sandbox technology can only detect malware in attachments. The email may appear to come from a legitimate company, a coworker, or a vendor.You may be asked to click on the attached link in the email.
7 Things You Should Teach in Training: What to Do When Your Employees Receive A Phishing Email?
7 Things You Should Teach in Training
Phishing attacks can take a lot of time and may also cost your company a lot. Just one click can compromise all your data; so it is crucial that all employees work as a team. Our Threat Sharing tool helps you create a network between your employees. Using Threat Sharing, everyone can share their knowledge with other team members. This way, you can turn individual information into a strong protection.
Creating a system for reporting phishing attacks is an important step you can take, and you should make sure your employees understand that it is important to report them. Deleting suspicious emails is not a permanent solution and your IT team should know that your company is under threat. You should warn your employees to contact the IT team when they receive such an e-mail. In this way, the IT team can take the right action at the right time and generate feedback to improve the email filter. Check out our Incident Responder tool for reporting suspicious emails.
We also recommend regular phishing awareness training. Your employees should have access to immediate phishing awareness training if they encounter a phishing attack. When an employee clicks on the phishing link, they should receive feedback and training. Look back at the email with your employees, point out the red flags and signs they missed, and provide them with additional training materials to protect them from future phishing attacks. You can use our Awareness Educator for this. Our tool contains various training materials to support all your needs.