Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated.
Threats to enterprise security are constantly evolving and growing in complexity, and phishing threats are no exception.
In a phishing email, attackers masquerade as a reputable entity or a known person to dupe users into sharing important information like login credentials or account information. In a spear phishing email, attackers often pose as an individual within the recipient’s company, while the sender of a whale phishing email might impersonate the CEO or CFO and instruct the recipient to transfer money to a fraudulent account.
These kinds of phishing threats have been enormously successful. In fact, 91% of all hacking attacks today began with a phishing or spear phishing email. With each breach potentially costing millions in damage to business, productivity and reputation, organizations need sophisticated protection to guard against these ever-evolving attacks.
Preventing phishing scams with Mimecast.
Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection offers superior defense against phishing, spear phishing and whaling attacks. Part of Mimecast’s all-in-one subscription service for email security, archiving and continuity, Targeted Threat Protection extends traditional gateway security to defend against threats like a phishing attack.
Mimecast’s solution improves phishing and spear security by:
- Scanning email in real-time to identify suspicious URLs, weaponized attachments and potential fraudulent requests based on social-engineering.
- Providing comprehensive protection against phishing and other attacks without the need for additional infrastructure or IT overhead.
- Providing tools for granular reporting and end-to-end, real-time threat analysis.
How Mimecast’s solution stops a phishing attack.
Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection offers three levels of defenses against a phishing, spear phishing or whaling attack.
- Targeted Threat Protection — URL Protect scans all URLs within incoming and archived emails on every click to shield users from immediate and delayed attacks. Suspicious sites are blocked and a warning page is displayed for the user.
- Targeted Threat Protection — Attachment Protect preemptively sandboxes all attachments and automatically performs security checks before delivering them to employees. Attachments are opened in a virtual environment that is separate from the corporate email system and passed on to employees only if the attachment is clean.
- Targeted Threat Protection — Impersonation Protect scans incoming email for anomalies in the header, domain information and body content that could suggest potential financial fraud or social-engineering. Suspicious messages can be rejected, quarantined or tagged as suspicious before being delivered to recipients.
What does phishing mean?
Phishing is a form of cybercrime where a criminal contacts an individual by email, text or telephone and, posing as a legitimate or trusted institution, seeks to obtain sensitive information like login credentials, credit card details, bank account numbers or other personal data. Criminals may use the information they obtain from phishing to access accounts to steal money, data and identities. The term “phishing” was coined by hackers – the use of “ph” as a substitute for “f” and is thought to be a reference to an earlier form of hacking known as “phone phreaking.”
How does a phishing attack work?
Phishing involves several types of attacks, and the techniques of cyber criminals are constantly evolving. The most common type of phishing involves an email message sent to a user under the guise of a legitimate organization, one that the recipient likely knows and trusts. A phishing email typically has a sense of urgency and asks the user to provide information or click a link. A phishing email may:
- Ask a user to log into a website to address a problem with their account or with a payment.
- Require the user to confirm personal information.
- Suggest there has been suspicious activity on the user’s account and ask the user to verify their credentials.
- Include a fake invoice as an attachment.
- Request a payment.
- Offer a refund or a coupon for free merchandise.
Links within a phishing email take the user to a fraudulent website where sensitive information can be captured and where malware may be downloaded onto the user’s computer.
Is phishing a crime?
Yes. Phishing is considered a crime that is typically prosecuted under laws concerning fraud or identity theft.
How to prevent phishing?
Preventing phishing attacks requires a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity.
- Implement security awareness training for users to defend against human error – one of the leading causes of security breaches – by helping users spot the signs of phishing
- Implement DMARC authentication to block emails that use domain spoofing and brand hijacking, which are common in phishing
- Deploy anti-phishing and anti-malware programs on endpoint devices and networks.
- Encourage users to require multi-factor authentication when logging into accounts.
Where should I report phishing?
If you believe you have received a phishing email, you can forward it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at email@example.com and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also report the attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, to your email provider (e.g., Outlook or Gmail) and to the actual company that the email is impersonating.