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  • 25 January 2022 20:21

Phishing awareness and phishing training explained

Phishing is the most successful initial assault vector. Phishing has proved to be a problem to businesses seeking to maintain a correct security stance, with the capacity to reach deep inside your organization's logical perimeter all the way down to an individual user's inbox with some type of hazardous information.

Phishing is the most successful initial assault vector. Phishing has proved to be a problem to businesses seeking to maintain a correct security stance, with the capacity to reach deep inside your organization's logical perimeter all the way down to an individual user's inbox with some type of hazardous information.

Furthermore, phishing attempts have received some fairly significant accolades. In 60% of cyber insurance claims, the initial attack vector is phishing schemes based on Business Email Compromise. Sixty-one percent of successful phishing attempts resulted in compromised credentials. Further, phishing causes $17,700 in damages each minute.

The exponential surge in phishing assaults and their effectiveness is shown to be highly risky this year when paired with people working from home, using personal devices, and decreasing their sense of corporate attentiveness as part of attempting to create a work-life balance.

The employment of social engineering tactics such as domain, brand, or user impersonation boosts the legitimacy of phishing schemes at a time when user defenses are at an all-time low. Because of this present state of assaults and lack of cyber-readiness, your business should strive to improve its security posture by making its users more aware of phishing attempts, the tactics utilized, and the consequences of attack success.

Phishing Awareness

It is critical to distinguish between phishing awareness and security awareness. Security awareness programs and training aim to instill a security culture inside a business, and being aware of phishing attempts is an important part of that. Phishing awareness has become increasingly focused on the what, why, and when of phishing assaults, as well as how to avoid being a victim.

Types of Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks employ a variety of channels, relying on common strategies to entice potential victims to respond in an intended manner. Among the various mediums are:

Email phishing - The majority of individuals who are familiar with phishing immediately think of email as the channel. It's the simplest way for them to gain the full attention of their intended victim en masse, employing automated methods to reach literally hundreds of thousands to millions of people with a single click.

Spear Phishing (email) - Attackers that want to target specific firms, industries, or even people will send out phishing assaults tailored to that victim.

Whaling (email) - Whaling attacks are spear phishing efforts that use only social engineering tactics to deceive C-level executives.

Vishing (phone) - Phone calls may be used to deceive people into changing passwords, handing over credit card information, and other actions. Deepfake audio—a technique that allows attackers to sound like anybody they choose, even your CEO—has been used to deceive people over the phone.

SMiShing (text message) - Similar to email, SMiShing employs text messages to direct victims to websites that are bent on infecting mobile devices, stealing internet passwords, or acquiring personal information.

Impact of Company Size On Phishing Vulnerabilities It may appear natural that bigger enterprises or those subject to data protection rules will have more security measures in place, reducing the probability of phishing assaults reaching their target victim. Smaller firms, on the other hand, are thought to have fewer resources and experience to deploy similar robust defenses as their bigger counterparts.

In reality, enterprises of all sizes and sectors are victims of phishing assaults on a regular basis. Many firms, like any respectable product or service, specialize in certain areas, organizational sizes, industry sectors, and so on. It's the same for cybercriminal groups engaging in phishing assaults; they all have a certain demographic that they excel at targeting.

When it comes to preventing phishing attempts, every business faces the same issue: its users.

phishing awareness training

Awareness teaching and phishing testing are two critical components of phishing awareness training. Solutions aimed to increase a user's phishing awareness begin by educating them on what phishing is, what communication channels are utilized, what phishing attempts look like, what social engineering strategies are employed, and how to recognize a fraud from a mile away. This is normally most successful when done online, although some businesses also undertake classroom-based and even break room-based training.

After training, it's time to assess if the users were paying attention. Creating simulated phishing campaigns—ones that have a benign impact but employ the same strategies and tactics as their malicious counterparts—is an effective approach to discover where your security is weakest at the user layer. Typically, solutions that provide phishing awareness training also provide some type of phishing testing functionality. Phishing testing offers a feedback loop to measure the training's success.

It's crucial to understand that phishing isn't going away; bad actors know it's a highly efficient approach to infiltrate your business. And, according to new research, they're growing better at their trade, with increased sophistication and regularity in their attacks. As a result, it's vital that you also increase your security posture. Phishing awareness and training are critical components to achieving this goal.

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