Phishing attacks are the most common type of cyber crime targeting both companies and individuals today. It is estimated that up to 90% of cyber attacks are phishing-type attacks and these bad actors show no signs of stopping. Quite the opposite: they appear to be becoming more sophisticated to respond to the various cyber security solutions organizations can put in place to stop them. As such, it’s critical for you to know how to prevent phishing attacks at your company.
Educate Your Employees
Education is the number one way to protect your business against phishing attacks. This is because no cyber security solution can catch them all. Teach your employees what fake emails and texts look like and what to do if they suspect they’ve received a phishing attempt. Even the most experienced employees can fall for phishing attacks, especially as their emails and texts become more real-looking.
For example, the trend right now is to send a phishing email or text that looks like it comes from the company’s owner or another high-ranking employee. When people see those names on correspondence, they automatically open them and may click on the malicious links inside them. They trust these emails because they think they’re coming from people they know. Unfortunately, all it takes is one click to unleash a devastating virus or worm.
Install All Software Patches in a Timely Manner
Legitimate software companies are constantly improving their products to protect against cyber attacks like phishing. They will release software patches that fix holes in their products that hackers may try to exploit for their crimes. You can help prevent hackers from being able to get into your system by installing all software patches as soon as they’re available. In fact, this should be a priority of your IT department.
Establish a Verification Protocol
Bad actors often attempt to get information from inexperienced employees by email, text, phone, and even fax. Whenever someone is requesting any type of data, including financial information, file sharing links, employee information, and more, have a set procedure that requires employees to get independent verification for the request. This could mean they go to the requester in person to verify the request or even contact the department head to make sure the request is legitimate.
The key here is to train all employees to resist responding right away and to take extra steps to verify the request. Even if they are simply required to have another person look at the request to catch any red flags, you’ll still be taking the proper precautions to avoid a phishing attack.
Strengthen Spam Filters
The best way to avoid an accidental click on a malicious link is to prevent emails that contain them from getting to your employees in the first place. Talk with your IT department or cyber security specialist to help you strengthen your spam filters to catch more of these phishing emails.
Even if you have every cyber security protection in place, some phishing attempts are still going to get through to your employees. As such, take the time to educate your employees and put protocols in place to ensure they don’t unintentionally cause a cyber security nightmare for your organization.