What Kinds of Protections Can Be Obtained Against Spear Phishing?
A sort of phishing assault known as "spear phishing" is one that is directed against a single person or a very small group. Spear phishing emails, on the other hand, are based on in-depth research on a specific target, as opposed to the more widespread phishing attempts, which utilise pretexts that apply to a large number of individuals (such as problems with online accounts or notices of failed delivery).
For instance, a spear phishing email may be crafted to seem like an official overdue invoice sent by a company's vendor. The phisher increases the likelihood that the target will fall for the phishing attempt and transfer money to the attacker by sending a convincing email to the appropriate recipient and containing the attacker's payment information rather than the supplier's.
The Danger Posed by Spear Phishing
Companies face a significant risk from spear phishing efforts as a result of their proliferation and the rising sophistication of these attacks. Attacks known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) are a kind of spear phishing in which the perpetrator poses as a member of senior management and directs an employee to transmit money to a specific vendor. It is anticipated that BEC assaults would cost a total of $1.8 billion in 2020, out of the expected $4.1 billion in losses associated with cybercrime.
Why is it Necessary to Take Precautions Against Spear Phishing?
Because they are easy to carry out and successful, phishing assaults are often employed as a vector for launching cyberattacks. Instead than trying to obtain access to a network and execute malware by exploiting a hole in an organization's cyber defences, the goal of a phishing assault is to deceive a person into performing the attacker's job for them. This is known as social engineering.
Phishing attacks are responsible for more than one third (36%) of data breaches, as stated in the 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) published by Verizon. With an average cost of $5.01 million and $4.65 million respectively, business email compromise (BEC) and phishing assaults are the most expensive causes of data breaches. Email phishing is one of the most prevalent ways that malware is spread, and it's also one of the most dangerous.
Many workers are simply unable to recognise a sophisticated phishing assault, despite the fact that spear phishing operations are very successful and very costly for businesses. In order for businesses to protect themselves from the risk posed by spear phishing, they need to have security solutions that can recognise and stop phishing assaults before they reach the inboxes of workers.
How to Guard Yourself Against Targeted Email Scams
Because spear phishing assaults are so specifically customised to their victims, it may be far more difficult to spot them than more generic phishing efforts. Nevertheless, businesses have a number of options available to them to assist defend themselves against spear-phishing assaults, including the following:
Email scanning: Spear phishing emails utilise a number of tactics to seem authentic, such as faking sender addresses, in order to trick its targets into giving over sensitive information. It is possible to identify and prevent phishing attempts by doing a search of e-mails for possible symptoms of the fraud.
Employee Cyber Awareness Training: Phishing emails are sent out with the intention of tricking recipients into doing activities that are harmful to either themselves or their employer. It is vital to train personnel on the red flags associated with phishing emails and the appropriate way to react to them in order to effectively manage the spear phishing threat.
Identifying Malicious URLs: Phishing emails often include malicious URLs that are intended to lead users to websites that steal login credentials or install malware. It is critical for businesses to have email security systems that can recognise and quarantine messages that include links to known malicious URLs.
Relationship Monitoring: Emails sent using a spear phishing technique often disrupt the typical flow of communication between individuals working for the same company. An anti-phishing system may indicate emails that are probable spear-phishing assaults by constructing a relationship graph and finding anomalous communications. This is done by recognising messages that do not fit the norm.
Analyzing Phishing Email Attachments in a Sandbox: Phishing emails often include malicious attachments that are engineered to seem like normal files (such as invoices). Malicious files may be identified and eliminated from emails before they are sent to the inbox of the recipient by performing an automatic inspection of these files inside a sandboxed environment.
When at all possible, use MFA: Phishing attacks are often devised with the purpose of obtaining a user's login credentials for business networks or other login accounts. An organisation can limit the value of compromised credentials and the risk that they pose to the business by enforcing the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever it is available and implementing it for corporate resources. In doing so, the organisation can reduce the risk that compromised credentials pose to the business.
Protection against Spear Phishing Utilizing Check Point
Phishing attacks pose a significant risk to the information security of businesses because they provide cybercriminals the opportunity to steal users' passwords, install malware on corporate systems, and steal money from businesses. Phishing emails may be made to seem more realistic, making them more difficult to identify and prevent. Spear phishing campaigns are a kind of this that is more focused and sophisticated than other similar tactics.
Employees may find it challenging to recognise spear-phishing emails due to the validity of the messages, and cybersecurity awareness training on its own is insufficient as a method to combat phishing. Training efforts need to be followed up by anti-phishing solutions that can detect and prevent attempted spear phishing assaults before they reach an employee's mailbox, which is where the organisation may be compromised by an employee's careless clicking on a link or opening of a malicious document.