The greatest vulnerability of organizations is the people and the doors to the illegal entry of your organization, is phishing. Let’s learn why!
The world is becoming increasingly automated; replacing people who have performed different tasks for decades with much more efficient and economical machines. However; there are tasks performed by humans that are simply irreplaceable and vital for many companies, such as customer trafficking and intra-company communication through digital media; since there is no possibility of hacking a person. however phishing came to change that.
So one of the vulnerabilities and dangers in companies is phishing; this is a significant obstacle for any organization due to the danger of losing important and confidential information belonging to the organizations. So in this article we will see what phishing is about, how is it carried out; how companies are attacked and how to combat it.
What is fishing and how is it carried out?
Phishing is a form of internet scam in which attackers try to trick consumers into divulging sensitive personal information. The techniques often involve the use of fraudulent e-mails and websites masquerading as legitimate e-mails and websites. Fraudulent emails can be considered a malicious form of unsolicited bulk email, generally known as “spam”.
Large institutions conduct countless interactions through email both internally and externally; so there is a high likelihood that these phishers can succeed in their attempts to perpetrate personal and company information. A relatively large percentage of employees within the company respond to these fraudulent emails; because they appear legitimate and their authenticity cannot be easily verified. Estimates range from 1% to 20%, depending on the attack.
Phishers can easily copy images, links and text from legitimate websites to make the emails they send look authentic. Due to the magnitude of the attacks there is a huge risk of financial loss; as some large-scale attacks can involve the sending of more than one million fraudulent emails. These emails encourage people to reveal their username, password, security names and numbers, company details and bank account information such as credit card numbers, by linking to bank websites; all because there is a black market in stolen credit cards and social service cards.
Phishing in business.
Instead of targeting a victim’s personal information; some phishing scams target individuals to gain access to valuable information in a company’s database. Phishers send an email, presumably from a company, to the company’s customers promising new application features if they log in and enter the business website with their username and password. However; the site they link to is fake. Attackers use the account name and password to enter the real company and hack into its network drives and other network resources, administrative login information, additional online accounts; and sensitive data such as credit card and e-commerce access data.
Phishing attacks involve several stages:
- The attacker obtains the e-mail addresses of the intended victims. These may be guessed at or obtained from a variety of sources.
- The attacker generates an email that looks legitimate and asks the recipient to take some action.
- The attacker sends the email to the intended victims in a manner that appears legitimate and obscures the true source.
- Depending on the content of the email, the recipient opens a malicious attachment, fills out a form, or visits a website.
- The attacker collects the victim’s sensitive information and may exploit it in the future.
There are numerous ways in which the attacker can execute these steps. There are also countermeasures that intended victims can use to thwart some of them.
According to Naftali Bennet, CEO of Cyota; an online security company; he explains that phishers operate according to three elements: How difficult is it to perpetrate, what is the risk of being caught? And what is the reward? Banks and many other affected organizations are fighting phishing through public education and some institutions are using litigation.
Fighting phishing, a constant struggle.
There are numerous ways to prevent phishing; which can be provided by the company’s own IT team or by external IT security services. these remedies fall into two general categories:
Corporate Best Practices:
- Establish corporate policies and communicate them: Create corporate policies that address email content so that legitimate email cannot be mistaken for phishing. Communicate these policies to customers and follow them.
- Provide a way for the consumer to validate that the email is legitimate: The consumer should be able to identify that the email is from the institution, not from a phisher To do that, the sending institution must establish a policy for encrypting authentication information in every email it sends to consumers.
- Stronger authentication on websites: If the institutions did not ask consumers for information when entering a website (e.g., social security numbers or passwords), then it would be more difficult for phishers to extract that information from the consumer.
- Monitor the Internet for potential phishing websites: The phishing website usually appears somewhere on the Internet before the launch of the phishing e-mails. These websites often misappropriate corporate brands to appear legitimate.
- Implement good quality antivirus, content filtering, and antispam solutions at the Internet and gateway: Gateway antivirus scanning provides an additional layer of defense against desktop antivirus scanning. It can filter and block known phishing sites at the gateway. Gateway antispam filtering helps end users avoid spam and unwanted phishing emails.
Consumer Best Practice:
- Immediate blocking of malicious or fraudulent emails Spam detectors can help prevent consumers from opening suspicious emails, but they are not foolproof.
They automatically detect and remove malware: Spyware is often part of phishing but can be removed by many commercial programs.
- Automatically blocks the delivery of confidential information to malicious parties: Even if the consumer cannot visually identify the actual Web site that will receive the confidential information, there are software products that can
- Be suspicious: if you are not sure that an e-mail is legitimate, call the apparent sender or institution to verify authenticity.
None of these individual remedies provide a complete answer to the problem.
We recommend a combination of countermeasures that:
- Minimize the number of phishing attacks delivered to consumers.
- Increase the likelihood that the consumer will recognize a phishing attack.
- And minimize the opportunities for the consumer to inadvertently release information.
After understanding what phishing is, knowing how phishers work, and understanding the appropriate security measures, we discover the importance of identifying these vulnerabilities and enforcing them to avoid any kind of threat that could harm or jeopardize valuable information in the organization, therefore, apply this information and help protect your business.