Every day millions of phishing emails are sent. These emails look official but are disguised to fool people into clicking a link and convincing them to provide bank account details or usernames and passwords.
Hackers continue to send these emails out each day because unfortunately, they work.
They work so well, there is an entire industry built on hacking – cybercriminals employed at actual hacker syndicate companies. A company, that for all intents and purposes, looks like any other business with everything most companies have:
Except this “company” is in the business to hack other companies. The employees of these companies have one job, to gain access to your valuable assets.
And these employees want to keep their jobs, so they do their best to fool your unsuspecting employees into providing the data they need to gain access to all your data.
62% of hackers chose phishing as their preferred social engineering attack
77% of companies report they don’t have a sufficient plan in place for their cybersecurity
6% of phishing attacks result in breach
These hackers generally employ five kinds of phishing attacks.
The Five Types of Phishing Attacks
In a recent article, I shared The Five Ways to Hack Your Business with Email and provided examples of what those types of attacks look like, you can view the article here. But briefly, the five types are:
- Spear Phishing: You receive an email from someone you work with or know asking you to do something, provide information or click a link
- Whaling: Like spear phishing but the email comes from or is sent to executives and C-Suite in your company.
- Mass Phishing: Hundreds of emails are sent to everyone in your company and/or partner companies insisting that credit card data or a password must be changed.
- Ambulance Chasing: Hackers use a crisis or event to piggyback off of it to trick employees into thinking they need to take action on something immediately.
- Pretexting: The set up to the crime. A hacker sends an email or text advising the recipient to be on the lookout for another email, voicemail, text, etc. with next step instructions.
Hackers use all of these phishing methods to gain access to your data and they continually adapt and change their messages to get your employees to take the bait.
Each day they find new ways to trick and scam. As we speak, hackers are stepping up their phishing efforts on mobile devices, I’ll share more about that in another article, but it is why you need to stay diligent.
And why you need continuous cybersecurity training for your employees because it is the best defense against an accidental click and breach.
Train Your Employees to Spot Phishing Attacks
It may sound too simple … “train my employees and I can minimize phishing attempts or even potentially stop them cold?”
The answer is a resounding YES.
It’s an unfortunate fact, many employees and some employers believe that anti-virus software, the IT guy, or your IT department can fix anything. This is simply not true.
Your employees need to know the risks of phishing attacks, how devastating they can be, what to watch out for and what to do if they see or hear suspicious activities. And, as the leader of the company, your employees need to know that you welcome their reporting of issues and have a process for them to follow.
But you can’t stop with one training. To help your employees stay vigilant and aware of the latest tricks and tactics hackers are using, they need ongoing training.
Employee Cybersecurity Awareness Training to Spot Phishing Attacks
Like I said, your employees are your first and best line of defense to protect your company from phishing attacks. Once they learn to spot phishing attacks, they won’t easily fall into traps and be manipulated into clicking links that spread viruses on their system and potentially give hackers access to your network.
Your employee training should consist generally of the following five areas:
- Ongoing training
- Employee resiliency testing
- Department risk measurement
- Customized employee specific training
- Tracking and reporting of cybersecurity initiatives
Hackers change their tactics often, that’s why ongoing training is so important. But with constraints on your employee’s time, ongoing training is difficult. That’s why you need a Managed IT Service provider like Attain Technology, who performs ongoing training for you.
Employee Resiliency Training
Your employees are tested with the latest phishing tactics to help them recognize suspicious emails and how to report them.
Department Risk Measurement
Some departments are at greater risk of attack than others. A good cybersecurity awareness training program is customizable to account for the different risk levels in your company.
Customized Employee Specific Training
Each employee has different roles and responsibilities in your organization. They receive messages from many people and need to be trained on various phishing tactics that are specific to their position.
Tracking and Reporting of Cybersecurity Initiatives
With ongoing employee cybersecurity awareness training provided by your Managed IT Service provider, you will have a record of your company’s cybersecurity initiatives. You can then use the reporting for compliance or to help you build a reputation in your market as a vendor who cares about cybersecurity and securing all your data – which includes your client and vendor data.
Stop Phishing Cold
The best defense against phishing attacks is ongoing Cybersecurity Awareness Training for your employees. They are, after all, your first line of defense when it comes to the security of your crucial data and assets.
The training also provides a sense of empowerment for you and your employees in the office and those who work remotely. You can have peace of mind knowing that your team can confidently recognize sketchy links and phishing tactics when browsing the internet, sifting through suspicious emails or creating and changing passwords.
Cybersecurity Awareness Training gives your employees the practical skills required to protect your company from network attacks, ransomware threats and data breaches.
If you are interested in Cybersecurity Awareness Training for your employees, schedule a free Construction Technology Audit with me.