Defending Your Business from Spear Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have been prevalent in the IT world for so long since they are easy to deploy yet effective enough to trick users. They are designed to steal credentials by deceiving the recipient of a malicious email into opening and engaging with it.

The email sent to you may contain a malicious attachment, like a document or a URL, which once accessed, could compromise the user's computer by installing malware. It can also capture the private details you enter, which the attackers can use to enter a genuine service later. You won’t notice a malicious email right away as its sender often pretends to be a reputable source, such as a government department, a bank, a supplier, or a customer of the business.

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Today, a more sophisticated version of the same attack is gaining popularity. Known as spear phishing, it is a form of cybercrime that typically targets businesses and their staff. Compared to conventional phishing methods that spread a large net in the hope of catching as many credentials as possible, spear phishing is more focused and precise. The purpose of the attack is to persuade a specific company, agency, or person that a fake email or website is real.

In spear phishing, the attacker works on establishing trust with the target. By gaining confidence and ensuring the client that, they are the people they claim to be, the individual becomes more inclined to open attachments, obey connections, or provide confidential information.

Detecting Spear Phishing Attacks

The spoof email can appear to come from a vendor you work with on a regular basis. It could also look like an invoice you're hoping to get. Often, attackers substitute the bank details of the vendors for their own, with the hopes that the receiver does not notice the difference.

Spear phishing attacks are very difficult to detect. It needs a keen eye, strong working knowledge, and constant alertness to keep your company protected. Luckily, aside from the members of your staff, managed IT services in Frederick can also help in deploying solutions to secure your company.

Reducing the Risk of Spear Phishing in Your Business

Listed down are some tips to protect your organization from cyber-attackers.

Educate the weakest link

Training the people who work in your company is one way to avoid spear phishing attacks. Understanding attack strategies, and how to defend against them, is the single best thing you can do to improve business protection.

Whenever you work with a vendor in a transaction, you have to address essential issues before continuing. Ask yourself these questions to shield your business from worst-case scenarios:

Am I expecting an email from this person?

Is this seller attempting to pressure me into a fast decision or transaction?

Have I reviewed all the specifics and did they appear as I expect them to be?

Good security practice

Strong management and good security practices can minimize your vulnerabilities. For one, employees should only have access to the systems they need. This helps deter harm from spreading throughout the network. In addition, using unique and secure passwords prevents leaked credentials from impacting systems similar to the one that has been breached. Having workers deploy a password manager and strong protection policy can boost your security to the level it needs to be.

Back up data

Always back up your data so recovery won’t be as dragging after a cyberattack or natural disaster. Managed IT services in Frederick provide cloud backup services where you can store your data and access it anytime.

Deploy multiple layers of security defenses

Acting on the premise that hostile actors would do their best to dodge security strategies, it is best to provide your company an in-depth protection plan. Start by having web filters that can scan and block all malicious emails and links from entering the network. This way, phishing attempts will be shut down before any damage can be done.

You can also install antivirus products that include phishing protection. Finally, deploy a solution that looks at the outgoing web request in the event that a user selects a malicious connection. It may be either a DNS-based approach or a proxy-based solution.

Swift Systems have the knowledge and resources on how to keep your infrastructure secured. We can manage your security practices and implement the best solutions to protect your firm against sophisticated spear phishing attacks. Call Swift Systems at (301) 682-5100 for more details about our managed IT services.