16 May 2020

What is Phish Training?

  • By David Reid
  • POSTED IN Technology
  • With 0 COMMENTS
  • BLOG POST TYPE

While technology has brought society many benefits over the years, it’s also a reality that these innovations carry risks. This is true when it comes to emails too, with a growing concern that a single email could give a hacker access to companies’ or individuals’ private information. This can easily happen through phishing emails created by cyber criminals.

 

So, how do you stop this from happening to your company?

 

In the same manner you take precautions for other business risks you can now take preventative measures by training your staff to be the first line of defence against a phishing attack. This is why phish training has become a priority for many.

 

What Exactly is Phishing?

Phishing takes place when criminals send fraudulent emails or instant messages to individuals. It’s done to obtain individuals’ personal information—such as names, passwords, banking details and more—in order to use that for the criminals’ purposes.

 

In most cases, the message will seem to originate from a legitimate source, such as a bank. A common phishing request is to confirm personal details to ensure usage of an account. In reality, the cyber criminals will capture the entered information, and this could result in identity theft, stolen money and similar problems.

 

There are different types of phishing, each with a different focus, such as:

  • Whaling: Targeting high profile individuals such as an executive. The threat of a client’s complaint mentioned in the message may prompt him or her to open the item, enter information or follow a phishing link.

  • Voice phishing: Asking message readers to dial a certain number and then request personal information during the call.

  • Website forgery: Altering the address bar that the victim is navigating to.

It’s clear that cyber criminals get creative in their attempts to seem like legitimate sources.

 

A Very Real Threat to Individuals and Businesses

Unfortunately, despite advances in technology, phishing has increased over the years, not declined. Experts say that each month, around 90 000 phishing campaigns are generated. With phishing reports on the rise all the time, this is not a threat anyone can ignore or simply hope to not become a target of.

 

How can You Stop Phishing from Harming Your Business?

What Role Does Technology Play?

You can do a lot to counter phishing, and yes, technology is one method. Spam filters, browsers that warn you when there is a possible phishing threat and multi-factor authentication are effective in curbing phishing; but only to a certain extent. Statistics prove that it’s still a problem and many consumers & businesses will receive phishing messages.

 

What is the Goal?

The ideal scenario would be to identify a phishing message the moment it’s received. This knowledge can trigger the right response to help the recipient, but also others targeted by this phishing campaign. A message can be reported so others can be warned and the criminals can be tracked & hopefully prosecuted.

 

How Training Helps

The key to combatting phishing is to ensure that fewer people act on the fraudulent messages.

 

Cyber criminals use content effectively to prompt recipients to respond to their message. They can make it seem so urgent that individuals act impulsively. But if you identify it as phishing, you won’t be duped into following the messages’ directions.

 

During phish training, individuals are taught:

  • How to identify phishing messages

  • How to change their instinctive behaviour towards messages

  • What to do when they suspect they’ve received phishing emails

By changing your team’s behaviour, you’re lowering the risk of people or the business becoming victims.

 

The Importance of Simulation

Effective training is all about giving ‘students’ a realistic representation of what to expect in future. Therefore, an important part of phish training is creating simulations. They need to know how to apply the theory in real life, so their instinctive responses will be the right responses.

 

Cyber criminals are experts in designing phishing emails and it’s difficult to replicate their sophisticated campaigns. For this reason, simulations often incorporate phishing messages created by real cyber criminals, but they’ve been altered for training purposes.

 

Keep Monitoring the Situation

To ensure continuous success in the fight against phishing, this training isn’t necessarily a once-off item on your schedule. Mistakes do happen and someone on the team may accidentally open a phishing email. For these individuals, targeted training is of the essence to help prevent future mishaps.

 

Final Thoughts

It’s essential that your business protects itself against any future obstacles. And in the 21st century that means taking a stand against cyber criminals too. Relying on technology isn’t enough—your team needs to be vigilant, but also knowledgeable.

 

Allow us to empower your team members to sidestep phishing risks and keep your business safe.