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#CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth – Protect yourself from phishing attacks

#CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth - Protect yourself from phishing attacks

The purpose of phishing is to collect sensitive information with the intention of using that information to gain access to otherwise protected data, networks. A phisher’s success is contingent upon establishing trust with its victims. We live in a digital age, and gathering information has become much easier as we are well beyond the dumpster diving days. It is equally as important to make sure that their employees understand the types of attacks they may face, the risks, and how to address them. Informed employees and properly secured systems are key when protecting your company from phishing attacks.

There are various phishing techniques used by attackers:

  • Embedding a link in an email that redirects your employee to an unsecure website that requests sensitive information
  • Installing a Trojan via a malicious email attachment or ad which will allow the intruder to exploit loopholes and obtain sensitive information
  • Spoofing the sender address in an email to appear as a reputable source and request sensitive information
  • Attempting to obtain company information over the phone by impersonating a known company vendor or IT department

Here are a few steps a company can take to protect itself against phishing:

  • Educate your employees and conduct training sessions with mock phishing scenarios.
  • Deploy a SPAM filter that detects viruses, blank senders
  • Keep all systems current with the latest security patches and updates.
  • Install an antivirus solution, schedule signature updates, and monitor the antivirus status on all equipment.
  • Develop a security policy that includes but isn’t limited to password expiration and complexity.
  • Deploy a web filter to block malicious websites.
  • Encrypt all sensitive company information.
  • Convert HTML email into text only email messages or disable HTML email messages.
  • Require encryption for employees that are telecommuting.

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