How To Protect Your Business From Phishing And Spearphishing

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

One of the best ways to protect your business against these types of attacks is by educating your employees on the methods these criminals exploit to gain access to your employees and your sensitive information. But beyond that, there are some methods you can use in conjunction with education to help protect your business.

Using filters can help prevent malicious emails from reaching your employees’ inbox and is effective for preventing indiscriminate attacks but not targeted ones.

More useful, however, are solutions that not only filter emails before reaching the inbox but incorporating virus scanners, real-time intent analysis, reputation checks, URL checkers, and other assessments before any email reaching your employee. We have an offering that can help you prevent an attack before it even starts.

If a user flags an email as suspicious, manually review each email as well as run it through a machine learning filter.

After an incident has occurred
If a user does accidentally and unknowingly fall victim to a phishing email, stay calm. Call us immediately to develop a plan of action to secure your network and ensure no harm comes to your data.

Biggest risk? Uninformed team members
Outside of attempting to download free software from torrent sites, one of the most common ways ransomware gains access to your network is through phishing and spearphishing. The three most commonly used strategies to gain access to your employees are:

Deceptive linking
This is the most commonly used and reliable strategy. By disguising an infected link as a legitimate source, the attackers coerce recipients into clicking and exposing your network.

Things to look out for are misspelled URLs, subdomains, or using subdomains with a very similar domain. For example, the uppercase “i” and lowercase “l” in look very similar.

A hacker could create a domain name of www dot googIe dot com, replacing the l with the uppercase I, and at first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Cloning, forging or covert redirecting
By exploiting vulnerable cross-site scripting, or XSS, these attacks can be used by cyberhackers to insert their malicious content into the actual website of the trusted resource. This can also result in the XSS being used to harvest the username and password fields of the compromised website, again putting your network at risk.

Voice or text phishing
This type of attack is the same as sending the link via email, except the victim is contacting on their phone with a voice message or text message. The infected link is usually buried in texts sent to consumers that their banking account access has been disabled and asking the victim to call or submit information to a phone number or website set up by the hackers, and harvesting their confidential information.

Don’t react, prevent!
Despite the prolific number of ransomware and attacks that are affecting businesses across the globe, not all hope is lost. While brilliant minds are being used to harm, others are being used to protect those same businesses. Our team has over 35 years experience in securing and managing networks just like yours, and we can help you develop a plan to keep your business safe from these malicious sources.