Everything Concerning Employees About Phishing Attacks
When phishing attacks first gained popularity years ago, people thought these attacks were only directed at users. Today, phishing has surpassed consumers and targeted companies, becoming one of the biggest threats to companies. When we look at the attacks that have taken place in recent years, we see that 90 percent of them were directed at companies. In other words, phishing attacks no longer only concern individuals but companies, especially company employees. Employees must have the necessary training to be protected from attacks. That’s why we have compiled everything concerning employees about phishing attacks for you.
Even if you use the most effective security tools, you cannot prevent 100 percent of phishing attacks. This is something you can only achieve by training your employees. Experts also frequently state that training is the most effective solution against increasingly complex cyberattacks. However, it is crucial that the training is planned in an informative manner regarding the attacks’ details.
Here are everything concerning employees about phishing attacks!
1. How Do Phishing Attacks Happen?
In phishing attacks, hackers often fool users by impersonating a popular brand or site and aim to steal personal information. In recent years, the most prominent of such attacks has been the attack against the Office 365 program. In this attack, hackers send emails that appear to come from Microsoft, telling users that they have detected a problem with their account, and they can fix it by clicking the link. When users click the link, they are redirected to the fake site, requesting their credentials. Most of the attack victims say they were deceived by the credibility of the logo found in the email, and the site opened when they clicked the link. Phishing attacks aim exactly that.
When phishing attacks first emerged, hackers sent e-mails that were of general appeal to hundreds or even thousands of people at once. Now, phishing attacks are increasingly diverse and personalized. For this, hackers examine people’s backgrounds, friends, family relationships, and business lives in great detail and plan their attacks accordingly. Rapidly detectable hacking emails are now difficult to detect because they were previously addressed to the general public. That’s why victims need to be extra careful. You should not trust unexpected emails from someone you do not know, even if they are addressed by name or contain personal information.
Everything Concerning Employees About Phishing Attacks: Emails
1. Email Subjects with Interesting or Threatening Content
Hackers often write interesting offers or threatening messages in the headlines of their phishing emails. These interesting offers are mostly related to gift or discount vouchers, invitations to sweepstakes. The most frequently used topics in threatening messages are bank account blockages or reminders about the last day of debt payments. As such topics trigger feelings of anxiety or curiosity in people, it significantly increases the success rate of attacks. Driven by anxiety and curiosity, users quickly click and do what is requested, without even thinking about whether the email is legitimate.
2. Fake Links
Phishing emails often ask victims to click a link. Hackers place these links in emails with such care and confidentiality that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell whether the link is fake or real. For example, a link that says “Click to access your Facebook account” may be directing you to a fake phishing site. To avoid getting trapped, all you have to do is place your pointer over the link and wait for the URL to appear before clicking any link. In this way, you can be sure that the URL and the link address match. If not, you should report the e-mail to your IT team immediately.
3. Emails with Attachments
As mentioned previously, victims are often asked to click a link in their e-mails. However, in all phishing attacks, this link may not be found in the e-mail itself. To circumvent cybersecurity software, hackers can sometimes forward links to phishing via email attachments. These attachments are usually delivered using a PDF or Word document. Since cybersecurity software cannot detect links in such attachments, e-mail can reach users by passing firewalls. So it should be wary of not only links but attachments as well. When you detect a suspicious-looking attachment, you should consult authorized personnel immediately.
4. Fake Email Addresses
You should not decide whether e-mails are legitimate by looking at the sender’s address. Hackers can create fake e-mail addresses in various ways, and they use these e-mail addresses to perform their attacks. In particular, they identify e-mail addresses that victims can believe in and set up their attacks accordingly. When using fake email addresses, hackers most often use fake display names and similar domain names. In using fake display names, hackers hide the original address they send with a legitimate e-mail address. So even if the email sent to you seems to come from [email protected], it may actually come from a completely random address like [email protected] This type of scam is particularly effective with email viewed on mobile devices. Hackers use this method, especially in their attacks against mobile devices.
Similar domain names use e-mail addresses similar to a real e-mail address, but with a few letters or extensions changed. For example, instead of twitter.com, hackers try to trap their victims by using twitter.co. In addition, extensions such as .net, .org, .gov are used quite often instead of .com. When changing domain names, hackers especially prefer long extension names to fool users.
Everything Concerning Employees About Phishing Attacks: What to Do?
- Use Email Gap Analysis tools to test your cybersecurity devices against phishing attacks!
- Regularly test your employees’ knowledge and awareness regarding cyberattacks with phishing simulations!
- Plan the required training customized according to the needs of employees with cybersecurity awareness educator!