EMAIL PHISHING: HOW TO SECURE YOUR BUSINESS EMAIL?

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EMAIL-PHISHING

How many business emails have you sent and received today?

Nowadays emails play an important role in business communication both internally and externally as there is no person to person meetings. But email is one of the most common entry points of cyberattacks by tricking people into sharing their confidential information via emails. The cybercriminal psychologically exploits the victims to take actions such as sharing financial or personally identifiable information (PII), login credentials, company’s confidential data, etc.


WHAT IS EMAIL PHISHING?

Phishing is a method to trick people into taking such actions that eventually make them victims of a cyber attack. Email phishing is one of the most common phishing techniques used by attackers to execute various online scams. They can send an email pretending to be your employee, employer, colleague, client etc. Email spoofing is also used by hackers in which they fabricate an email header in the hopes of duping the recipient into thinking the email originated from someone or somewhere other than the intended source. The attackers are doing their planning before launching an attack. They have a thorough idea about the business and the target executives, adopting their language style and tone, and sometimes even actual email accounts. The absence of malicious links or attachments in phishing emails make victim difficult to detect with traditional security tools.

In April 2020, Google blocked 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Coronavirus.

(Google)

Why cybercriminals like ‘phishing’? 

There are so many motives behind every phishing attack and the intention of the attacker will be different.

  • To access via a malicious download: The attacker wants you to click on a link or download a file that drops malware on your computer to control from the remote location.
  • For financial benefit: Gaining payment card numbers or bank account details and misuse such information to get financial gains. 
  • For personally identifiable information: This PII( phone number, physical address, social security number) used to execute crimes involving identity theft.
  • To blacken the reputation of an organization: The attacker intentionally sends phishing emails using victims name/organization to tarnish the reputation.
  • For a planned agenda or a political goal: Government-sponsored hackers send phishing emails to acquire confidential political information or the PII of other countries’ citizens.


EMAIL SECURITY: TIPS TO SECURE YOUR COMPANY’S EMAIL.

1.Install an intelligent, multi-capability security solution that will screen, detect and block most of the bad stuff before it ever intrudes into the system.

To defend against rapidly evolving email-based attacks, the first point must be effective security software. Considering a cloud-based option will be worth, that allows for real-time updates, scalability and integration with other security tools for shared intelligence.


2.Alert employees on phishing emails.

Implement formal online training, share examples of the latest threats, run tests and show employees some standard checks like does the email address looks suspicious/any errors.


3.Implement strong measures for email authentication.

Your company’s email security solution should be able to check every incoming email against the authentication rules set by the domain the email appears to come from. The best way to do this is to implement recognized standards for email authentication. The main standards are:

  • The Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) 
  • Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance(DMARC)

4.Educate employees on what to do when they find a’phish’.

Employees should read emails carefully for the issues that might indicate that the sender is not reputable and report immediately if anything found unusual. Never get too late to stop further damage by a phishing attack, so you should also encourage those who have fallen victim to an attack to come forward.


5.Ensure the integrity of an outbound email.

Every email sent from your organization will be assessed by recipients against the authentication rules/methods. So ensure you have robust controls set against your own domain name; which is vital for the integrity of your organization’s brand reputation.


CONCLUSION

Are cybercriminals getting smarter and more innovative in their email phishing tactics over time? Yes. Modern phishing emails are formulated with intense research and using the advanced hacking techniques that can easily manipulate the victim psychologically if they are not vigilant enough. Hence, don’t take phishing emails lightly, always keep alert, and train your employees to recognize such emails. 

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