Skip links

Train Your Team: Anti-Phishing Best Practices

The online world is dark and full of terrors.  

And cats, but they are not trying to trick your employees into spilling sensitive data. 

We live in a world where implementing anti-phishing training into your company’s routine is not a whim. It’s something you absolutely must do. 

But what exactly is phishing? What is the end goal? Where do you even start with the training? 

Don’t fret. We’ve got you. 

We’ve outlined the best anti-phishing practices and how exactly to implement them. Not only that, but we’ve provided examples of suitable tools that will help you protect your business.  

Without further ado: 

What Is Phishing? 

Phishing is a type of cyber-attack in which malicious partes impersonate legitimate entities or reputable sources. The goal is to deceive you into divulging sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, bank account info, log-in details, etc.  

There are several types of phishing: 

  • Email phishing –  32% of people report becoming victims of ransomware infections via email. So, safe to say, email phishing is the most common type of scam. It involves sending deceptive emails to large numbers of people, hoping to trick a few recipients into divulging information.  
  • SMS phishing, a.k.a. smishing – the same as email phishing, but it is conducted via text messages. The messages include a link to a malicious website or prompt the victim to call a fraudulent phone number. 
  • Spear phishing – attackers target certain individuals or organizations, research them thoroughly and send personalized messages that appear highly credible. 
  • Whaling – similar to spear phishing, but targets exclusively high-profile individuals such as executives or public figures. The messages appear as legitimate business communications. 
  • Clone phishing – the victim receives a legitimate email that is then cloned. The malicious version is sent with a seemingly minor change, such as a different attachment or link. 
  • Voice phishing, a.k.a. vishing – Attackers call their victims and pretend to be customer service representatives, technical support, government officials, etc. Then they try to trick them into providing personal information. 

The impact of such scams is huge and can be catastrophic. You or your company may experience: 

  • Data breaches and leaks 
  • Account takeovers 
  • Financial losses 
  • Reputation damage 
  • Operational disruptions 

And more. 

How do you deal with all of this?  

Well: 

Best Anti-Phishing Practices 

As you can see, it is crucial for your team to recognise such attacks and react accordingly. Here are the best phishing prevention strategies: 

Implement Regular Cybersecurity Trainings 

It is extremely important to continuously educate your team about cybersecurity threats. 

Phishing is no exception.  

So, here’s how to develop a comprehensive phishing training for employees: 

  • Asses the cybersecurity awareness level – does your team have basic knowledge or do you need to start from scratch? Also, what are the most common threats and vulnerabilities that your company might face? 
  • Create engaging content – you’ll need attention-grabbing interactive training materials. Consider videos, quizzes, webinars, and hands-on workshops. 
  • Cover various topics – for example, phishing identification and prevention, safe browsing basics, incident reporting, etc.  

Unfortunately, things change pretty quickly in the phishing universe. So, you’ll need to set a schedule the online security training. Once, maybe twice a year will do.  

Set up Role-Based Access Control 

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) means regulating access to a computer, network or resources based on the position someone holds within an organization. For example, the HR department will have access to the type of sensitive data that the marketing team won’t.  

Setting up one of the best cyber risk management practices. And it doesn’t only concern phishing as a treat. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Identify roles – do it according to the job functions within your company. Consider the specific tasks and responsibilities associated with each role. 
  • Set permissions to roles – make sure they are granular enough to provide precise control over access. 
  • Assign users to roles – all employees should have log-in details that they keep confidential. Ensure that users have only the roles necessary for their work. 

So, even if someone from your company falls victim to a phishing scam, they won’t be able to disclose enough information to do serious damage. 

Enforce Two-Factor Authentication 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) requires users to provide two forms of verification before gaining access to certain information. So, after inputting your login details, you’ll be asked to also enter a code. The easiest way to receive said code via SMS. 

Honestly, you should enable this function all your personal profiles as well. Yes, including all your social media.  

There are several 2FA methods: 

  • SMS – sends a one-time passcode (OTP) to your mobile phone via SMS.  
  • Authenticator apps – you can use apps like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy generate to generate OTPs. 
  • Hardware tokens – there are physical devices like YubiKeys or RSA SecurID tokens that generate OTPs or support other forms of authentication. 
  • Biometrics – things like fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, etc., which require additional hardware. 

But how does this help against phishing? 

Adding 2FA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if login credentials are compromised. All your employees should use some sort of multifactor authentication method, regardless of their role-based access level. 

Employ Anti-Phishing Solutions 

Your company can use a wide range of technologies and strategies to identify and block phishing attacks. 

For example: 

  • Email filtering – there are tools that use machine learning and heuristic analysis to detect and block phishing emails. The most popular ones are Mimecast, Proofpoint, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365. 
  • Sandboxing – a type of technology used to analyse email attachments and links in a controlled environment. That way it can filter the phishing ones before they reach the recipient’s inbox. You can check out SandBlast Threat Emulation, ANY.RUN, or Trellix Intelligent Sandbox. 
  • Web Filtering – you can deploy filtering solutions that block access to known phishing sites. Such tools include Cisco Umbrella, Symantec Web Security, and Zscaler. 
  • Browser security extensions – ask your employees to add browser extensions that identify and block phishing websites. You can choose from Netcraft, Avast Online Security,  Norton Safe Web, etc. 
  • Anti-phishing software – you need to install anti-phishing software on all endpoints. Such solutions detect and block phishing attempts at the device level. Users often praise Barracuda Impersonation Protection, Memcyco, and Avanan. 

Investing in any of those tools will ease some of the cybersecurity burden. 

Configure Anti-Spoofing Controls 

Not exactly something you need to train your employees to do, but still important for your company.  

After all, you can’t risk your reputation. 

Here’s the trick though – you need to be more than just a little tech-savvy to do that. We’ll tell you the basics, but you might want to consider outsourcing this task.  

Don’t know who to entrust it to?  

Contact Expert Allies and we’ll help you find the best team or candidate.  

Back on track now. 

The key anti-phishing technologies are: 

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – an email authentication protocol. It enables the domain owner to specify which mail servers can send emails on behalf of their domain. 
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – an authentication method that allows the sender to sign their emails with a digital signature. The recipient’s mail server verifies the signature to ensure the email has not been tampered with during transit. 
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) – a way for domain owners to specify how to tread unauthenticated emails. It generates reports that help monitor and improve email authentication practices. 
  • Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) – enables your company to display its brand logos in email clients that support BIMI. This provides a visual indicator of authenticity. 

You will not only be upping your phishing prevention game; you’ll also be protecting your business’ reputation.  

What’s not to love? 

Wrap Up 

The internet can be a tricky place to navigate.  

That’s why it is absolutely crucial to follow the best anti-phishing practices. You also provide the necessary training for your team. We’ve outlined some strategies you can easily incorporate into your company. 

Feeling like you’re in over your head? 

Consider outsourcing the cybersecurity training to an expert. We’re always here to find you the right ally for the phishing battle.  

FAQ 

What is the purpose of training employees about phishing?  

The purpose of training employees about phishing is to protect both their personal and your company’s sensitive data. By teaching your team to recognize and avoid deceptive messages, you will be enhancing overall organizational cybersecurity. 

What is phishing cyber awareness?  

Phishing cyber awareness means recognising deceptive tactics and knowing how to handle such cybersecurity threats. Implementing such courses in your company’s routine teaches employees how to protect themselves and your business. A good phishing cyber awareness course will include steps like identifying phishing emails, reporting suspicious activities, and handling potential breaches.  

What is the most common phishing attempt? 

The most common phishing tactic involves fraudulent emails. They are designed to mimic legitimate entities like banks, government agencies, famous companies, etc. They usually invite the victims to click on a link and/or fill in personal information.  

 

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.