What is Spear Phishing?
We first had to understand the term Phishing, and what it means. Phishing is what we shortly can describe as online thievery. It’s used by cybercriminals to obtain sensitive information or data. It is data like usernames, credit card details, passwords, or even other sensitive information. In this article, you will learn what helps protect from spear phishing and some of the important things you need to take care of in order to protect yourself from spear phishing.
Most cyber-attacks or data breaches are the results of one specific technique. This technique is the cause of 90% of all data breaches and it is called Spear Phishing: It is one of the most beneficial ways for these criminals to trick innocent users to give up information like passwords so protect your information
Spear Phishing is an attack on your digital device using customized content and details. The reason is to lure the unsuspecting into a false sense of security which lets them give up sensitive information. Mostly the information to do you harm comes from sources like social media, or the dark web.
Then they create emails that are enticing and have a legitimate appearance. Information about people and companies picked up from data breaches is sold on the dark web markets and also gets used. Security awareness training is very important whether you work alone or are part of a team.
If you are conversant with the methods used then you are able to protect your device from Spear phishing. Reading this will let you know what helps protect you from Spear Phishing.
Meaning and the Different Types of Phishing
It will be to your best advantage to know about the different types of Phishing the criminal uses. The techniques they use vary and they evolve day by day for maximum benefit for the cyber-criminal. That is why security awareness is so important. Before understanding what helps protect from spear phishing, lets first deep dive in the types of phishing. Underneath you will find the different types of Phishing.
- SPEAR PHISHING: It is an attempt directed towards a specific individual or a company.
- WHALING: It is also an attack directed at a specific individual. However, in this attack, the target is a senior executive in a large corporation or someone with a high profile.
- CATPHISHING: It is an online deception involving another person, getting to know another closely, with the intent to gain access to information, or resources in the control of the target or to control the target’s conduct.
- CLONE PHISHING: It is when a legitimate, previously delivered email contains an attachment or a link, which takes the email’s content and recipient address to create an almost identical or clone email for deceiving someone else.
- SMS PHISHING: It is also called smishing and it uses text messages to deliver the bait. Mostly used in cellphones. This usually invites users to click on a link, or cellphone number, or contact email address provided by the attacker through the text. All these mentioned are common phishing techniques, through which sensitive information is extracted. Since these processes involve stealing sensitive digital information to utilize in the wrong way it is called a cyber-attack. Being aware of this will help you prepare and know what will help protect you from Spear Phishing.
How to Prevent Spear Phishing /Phishing
Nobody wants to be involved in a Phishing attack; it`s nasty and harmful. That’s why we must learn and educate team members on what helps protect from Spear Phishing. There are several indications that these attacks are on the rise, and will continue to rise.
That’s why you need to be aware of how to protect your information. Several preventative ways exist which you can use in curbing Spear Phishing attacks. Underneath you can read more about the best ways that help protect from spear phishing.
- Inform yourselves or others about the ways cyber-criminals use: Once informed is to be prepared. These criminals are continuously busy creating new techniques and it is up to you to know them.
- Never open a suspicious-looking email: Think before you click on the action-taking prompt button. If there’s any doubt, ignore the call to action button.
- Install an anti-phishing toolbar: Most browsers nowadays come with anti-phishing tools. Make sure the ones you use are equipped with such a tool. If not you can download it for your device. Perform quick scans on the websites you want to visit but you’re not sure of the authenticity.
- Update your browser regularly: It’s good practice and will be in your good stead to update your browser, allowing you to stay aligned with the updated security setting of your browser.
- Use firewalls: It acts as a buffer between your computer and outside intruders. It is recommended to use more than one type of firewall. A desktop version plus a network version will reduce the odds of a spear-phishing attack.
- Conduct regular cyber awareness training: Inform yourselves by learning about phishing dangers and if there’s a team training them too.
- The use of smart strong passwords is highly recommended: Use passwords that are hard to guess and decipher.
- Enable multi-factor authentication: Make sure that you have multi-factor authentication, once one is breached the other can prevent the attacker from accessing your sites.
- Never give your password to anyone: Always use your password yourself. If someone wants to access a site and needs your password, open it for him yourself and let him not see it. You must also be aware that Spear Phishing can be tricky to spot and even those with high cyber security knowledge sometimes miss it. It is also the number one technique the criminals use to spread ransomware.
I.T professionals all agreed that simulated phishing tests will be beneficial in training about the dangers of Phishing and will be helpful as an additional security layer. If you are aware of the risk then you can mitigate it knowing what helps protect from Spear Phishing.