Phish Your Own Business to Expose Vulnerabilities


    Multiple layers of high-tech, sophisticated cybersecurity solutions can keep cyberattackers from strong-arming their way into your business’s network and stealing sensitive data; however, the best security programs won’t help if they are let in through the front door.

    According to a 2017 study by Verizon, 43 percent of data breaches used some form of phishing. It’s no secret that data breaches cost companies millions of dollars due to network downtime, damage repair and potential litigation.

    Phishing and spear-phishing is the tried-and-true method for hackers to gain access to a business’s network and applications, all by using simple hacking techniques to obtain credentials or trick employees into downloading a malicious attachment or clicking a suspicious link. According to SecurityIQ, 30 out of 100 employees can’t identify a phishing email.

    Some phishing attempts can be easily spotted just by looking at the sender’s email address. Some are blatantly fraudulent emails revealed by clues like poor grammar and spelling, the lack of a corporate logo or graphics, or oddly placed graphics. Some attempts ask for the employee’s username, password and other credentials that a business would not ask for. Other times, hackers use more sophisticated techniques, such as spoofing email addresses that match the company’s URL, company graphics and personal information (names, titles, etc.,) of employees they may have found online to establish credibility. Careful attention to detail can be enough to fool employees into giving out sensitive information or downloading malware.

    Training employees to spot and report phishing emails is absolutely essential for avoiding catastrophic breaches; however, sometimes it’s necessary to put that training to the test.

    Much like holding regular fire drills to prepare employees for an emergency, it’s prudent to simulate phishing attempts to keep employees on their toes, identify vulnerabilities in the network and further educate them on these types of attacks.

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