Don’t Get Hooked by Phishing


How You Can Stay Safe

Sweeping digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic has changed how people use applications and cloud-based tools in their work and personal lives. This has led to increased cyber-related attacks as new and undereducated users put more and more of their private data online. 

Perimeter 81’s recent research indicates that 66% of companies experienced a significant cybersecurity incident in 2021. The main culprit? Phishing. 

To protect your organization’s finances and sensitive data, it’s imperative to implement cybersecurity best practices that prevent phishing and other techniques for stealing your credentials and breaching your network. 

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses social engineering to trick users into revealing their login credentials, credit card numbers, and other confidential information. This is done by sending a seemingly legitimate email that contains a link to a website where you are asked to enter your data or download an app. Keeping private information a secret seems like a no-brainer, but social engineering tactics can be challenging to identify. 

Attackers are skilled at pretending to be a trusted entity like a supervisor or a vendor, often using graphics and links to make it look like the email is coming from a legitimate source. Once the fraudster has successfully tricked the user into trusting them, they will send a link or a file hidden in an email with malicious code that works behind the scenes to steal your information.

Sometimes phishing emails are so deceptive that high-level employees are often targeted and successfully victimized by an attacker. 

How to Stay Safe From Phishing Attacks                                                                   

1. Continuously invest in cybersecurity awareness training

Phishing campaigns are meant to be difficult to identify. Scammers wouldn’t make any money if their tricks didn’t work, and scammers are getting better at deceiving employees. A recent survey revealed that 78% of users clicked on malicious links despite claiming to be familiar with the risks of phishing attacks. Regular company-wide cybersecurity awareness training for employees at all levels and clearances is essential for helping employees become better at detecting phishing emails, spoofed web pages, fake IT numbers, and other hints of fraud.

2. Comply with cybersecurity regulations

Rising cybersecurity incidents combined with growing numbers of remote workers have caused governing and regulatory bodies to re-examine their approach to security compliance in the Digital Age. Compliance regulations such as the EU’s general data protection regulations (GDPR) and California’s consumer privacy act (CCPA) were created to align companies with industry standards and best practices. 

Although not yet mandated in the US, recommended cybersecurity practices also include migrating resources to the cloud and deploying a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) with defined user roles. A Secure Web Gateway, like the one offered by Perimeter81, is designed to stop unauthorized traffic from entering an enterprise’s network. It accomplishes this by monitoring Internet traffic and filtering out malicious intrusions. 

If your organization suffers a breach, PCI incident response protocols can help you recover the stolen information and mitigate the damage that occurs, granted you remain in compliance with PCI DSS standards. 

3. Implement Zero Trust Network Access

At its core, a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) ensures that users have secure access to only the corporate resources that they need and nothing else. Implementing ZTNA with Perimeter 81’s Cybersecurity Experience Platform—recognized by Forrester consulting as a leading solution—can help reduce the impact of phishing attacks by micro-segmenting the pages and files that each user has access to. 

If an attacker obtains company credentials where zero trust is deployed, they will only have access to a small segment of the network. Network segmentation under zero trust models relies on centralized management to enhance network visibility and detect unknown threats before a data breach is initiated. 

4. Protect Your Accounts with Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication offers an extra layer of security by requiring two or more credentials to gain access. Multifactor authentication is similar to two-factor authentication in that it does require more than a simple username and password combination to access your online accounts.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, multifactor authentication can prevent phishing scammers from logging into your accounts even if they do obtain your username and password. Two-factor authentication often utilizes SMS confirmation to verify your identity and provide access. 

On the other hand, multifactor authentication utilizes tools like authentication apps, security keys, and biometrics to create a unique login for every individual, making it extremely difficult for scammers to break into your accounts. Perimeter81 supports multifactor authentication, including via SMS notification, Duo Security, or Google Authenticator. 

5. Deploy a Radically Simple SSE Solution

It’s common for business networks to deploy numerous security solutions to reduce phishing attacks and scams. However, 70% of executives feel that the number of cybersecurity tools impacts their ability to detect and prevent threats negatively. 

Security Services Edge (SSE)  is a unified approach to cybersecurity that includes multiple critical cloud-based security services inside one cloud-based administration panel.  Through SSE’s streamlined cybersecurity approach, you can have full visibility into all areas of the network and make discoveries to help prevent phishing and other cyber attacks from harming your organization.

Perimeter81’s Cybersecurity Experience Platform (CSX) radically simplifies your cybersecurity by utilizing SSE as a guide and allows enterprises to get rid of their legacy hardware. It comes equipped with tools such as Zero Trust Network Access, Firewall-as-a-Service, a Secure Web Gateway, and more to give IT teams and employees of the enterprise secure access to the resources they need.

In Conclusion

Preventing phishing scams begins with ongoing employee education. Next, you should make sure that your organization is using an IT infrastructure that is compliant with current security standards and enforce a zero-trust policy that relies on multi-factor authentication. Finally, make sure that you are using a unified SSE service like Perimeter 81’s CSX that provides a secure web gateway, ZTNA, and integrative tools to protect your most valuable assets.