Phishing attacks are one of the most common and effective ways that cybercriminals can infiltrate a company’s systems and steal sensitive information. These attacks are designed to trick employees into giving away their login credentials, financial information, or other sensitive data by disguising themselves as legitimate emails or websites.
Employee Action That Can Be Taken
Given the importance of protecting a company’s data and systems from these types of attacks, it is essential that employees are educated on how to spot a phishing attack and take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves and the company. Here are some tips for educating your employees on how to spot a phishing attack:
- Teach employees to be suspicious of unsolicited emails, especially those that contain links or attachments. Many phishing attacks come in the form of emails that claim to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency, but are actually from a cybercriminal. These emails may contain links or attachments that, when clicked or downloaded, will install malware on the employee’s computer or steal their login credentials.
- Educate employees on the signs of a phishing email. There are several red flags that employees should be aware of when it comes to phishing emails. For example, they may contain urgent language or threats, such as “Your account will be closed if you do not click this link.” They may also contain typos or other mistakes or use a fake sender name or address.
- Encourage employees to hover over links before clicking on them. If an employee receives an email with a suspicious link, they should hover their mouse over the link (without clicking it) to see the actual URL it will take them to. If the URL is not from a legitimate source or looks suspicious in any way, the employee should not click on the link.
- Remind employees to be cautious when entering login credentials or personal information online. Employees should be reminded to never enter their login credentials or personal information on a website unless they are certain it is a legitimate and secure site. They should also be encouraged to use strong, unique passwords and to use two-factor authentication when available.
- Encourage employees to report suspicious emails or website to the appropriate authority. If an employee receives a suspicious email or comes across a suspicious website, they should report it to the IT department or another appropriate authority within the company. This can help prevent others from falling victim to the same attack.
Steps a Company Can Take to Protect Employees
It is essential that companies take steps to prevent phishing emails from reaching their employees and to educate their employees on how to spot and avoid these types of attacks. Here are some steps that companies can take to protect their employees from phishing emails:
- Implement email filters and spam blockers. One of the most effective ways to prevent phishing emails from reaching your employees is to implement email filters and spam blockers that are designed to identify and block suspicious emails. These tools can help to reduce the number of phishing emails that reach your employees, making it less likely that they will fall victim to an attack.
- Use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires users to provide an additional piece of information in addition to their password when logging into an account. This can help to prevent cybercriminals from accessing an employee’s account, even if they have obtained the employee’s login credentials.
- Regularly test employees on their knowledge of phishing attacks. One of the best ways to ensure that your employees are aware of how to spot a phishing attack is to regularly test their knowledge. This can be done through simulated phishing attacks or through quizzes and training sessions. By regularly testing and reinforcing this knowledge, you can help ensure that your employees are vigilant in protecting themselves and the company from these types of attacks.
- Implement security awareness training programs. Security awareness training programs can be an effective way to educate employees on how to protect themselves and the company from cyber threats, including phishing attacks. These programs can include training on topics such as password security, safe browsing practices, and how to identify and report suspicious activity.
There are several steps that companies can take to protect their employees from phishing attacks. By implementing email filters and spam blockers, educating employees on how to spot a phishing email, using two-factor authentication, and implementing security awareness training programs, companies can help to reduce the risk of a successful phishing attack and protect their employees and company from harm.
Additionally, ProviNET Solutions has vetted and partnered with several vendors that provide enhanced email security depending on the level of protection desired. Unsure if you need further protection? A member of the ProviNET Solutions Client Care team would love to have a conversation with you to discuss your email security posture, and to determine if there are additional steps you and your organization can take to protect yourself and your organization.
Director of Marketing
Scott Sweeney is a data-driven leader with over 14 years of experience in marketing and communications. Scott has been with ProviNET Solutions for 9 years and directs the marketing efforts of the company.