With the massive rise in phishing attacks, 2019 is the year for organizations to realize the concept of becoming a victim is an issue of when and no longer if.
According to Malwarebyte’s 2019 State of Malware report, there is pretty much no industry that is unaffected by malware. And phishing attacks remain an effective means of tricking users. In Healthcare alone, nearly one-half of orgs citing a 1-10% click rate when interacting with mock-phishing emails to test user response, and another one-quarter of organizations seeing click rates of 11-30%.
These numbers clearly indicate that organizations simply aren’t prepared for phishing attacks.
What’s needed is an anti-phishing plan in place that helps to educate users to identify suspicious content in email and on the web, and to avoid becoming a victim. Some guidelines for your employees include:
- Vigilance is the Best Medicine – users that are in a constant state of monitoring for abnormal, suspicious, or otherwise questionable messages, ads, web content, and emails are the least likely to fall pray to a phishing attack.
- Never Click on Unknown Attachments – Just because American Express or UPS has “important” information to share, it doesn’t mean they every do so in an attachment. Users should be taught to be wary of clicking attachments.
- Attachments Aren’t Always Necessary – phishing scams can use malicious links, or even use no links at all and rely on social engineering tactics to trick users.
- Phishing Isn’t Limited to Email – social media, web ads, text messages, and even phone calls can be used to connect an attacker with their victim.
Organizations that include Security Awareness Training as a key component to their anti-phishing plan are most effective. This training educates users on all aspects of attacks, scams, mediums, and tricks used to make your users (and your organization) a victim. Matched with phishing testing that provides feedback on where your weakest users are, organizations can not just prepare users in theory, but see that their education is put into practical use.