Did you know that 91% of all cyber attacks start with a phishing email?
A cybercriminal is just a phishing email away from gaining unrestricted access to your device, network, and valuable data. Phishing emails have the potential to bypass many of the cybersecurity defenses employed by organizations and wreak havoc on the sensitive data and resources they own. As PhishMe research concludes, 91% of the time, phishing emails are behind successful cyberattacks.
PhishMe came to this conclusion after sending 40 million simulated phishing emails to around 1,000 organizations. The PhishMe study also found that the healthcare sector is particularly at risk of being compromised through phishing attacks, with a 31% phishing email response rate among healthcare employees, despite having received security awareness training.
Cybercriminals have a wide variety of social engineering techniques at their disposal to entice the user to click links, open attachments, or reveal confidential information. From posing as brands or trusted individuals in emails to creating spoofed websites or customizing attacks using private details about their targets, phishing efforts continue to evolve and are increasingly difficult to differentiate from legitimate communications. Phishing can take the form of fake confirmation emails for online purchases, job applications, failed delivery notifications, security updates, and even legal notices, each of which can be used to instill a sense of urgency or fear to further increase the chances of the targets biting the bait.
HOW TO AVOID PHISHING ATTACKS
- Be vigilant when using email or other forms of electronic communication: Carefully screen senders of unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious communications, such as emails requesting financial transactions. There are many things you can look for that indicate a potential scam, such as spoofed sender addresses or links, depersonalized or misspelled messages, or messages that refer to activities (such as orders, job applications, shipping notifications, etc.) that are not did. t take. Always take steps to verify the validity of a bank transfer request or confidential information before acting on it. Be on the lookout for who is asking for what information and always check.
- Please review the links carefully: Do not click on the links provided by the emails, messages or notifications from sites that you suspect. Before clicking, hover over the links to check if the destination URL is what it claims to be. To be very careful, type the URLs manually instead of clicking on the links.
- Perform an online search: When in doubt, do an online search to further investigate the validity of the communications you receive. If it really is a scam, you can often find ample results to prove it. Help spread the word about potential phishing scams by reporting them to the companies involved, your IT department, or the FBI Internet Crime Reporting Center.
- Use a VPN to secure your Internet connection: A VPN encrypts your Internet connection and keeps the sites you have visited and the information you share private from would-be attackers. Using a VPN means helps to prevent attackers from intercepting your Wi-Fi traffic over public networks, a common technique to glean details or credentials used in phishing attacks or even intercept sensitive data outright.
- Look out for typos: Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company that is laden with typos or poorly written, there’s a good chance that email is not from who it claims to be.
- Use multi-factor authentication: It is recommended to have two forms of verification, for example, a password and a security question, before logging into any sensitive accounts. Two- or multi-factor authentication can only help in making the job more difficult for cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your accounts. For example, even if your password is exposed to an attacker, your account will remain protected by a second or even third layer of authentication. For the best defense, use forms of authentication that consist of something you have physically (such as a token or device) or biometrics – these factors are considerably harder for attackers to obtain.