Phishing is a cybercrime that uses various digital and telecommunications modes to lure victims into revealing personal or sensitive information.
Cyber “criminals” contact their targets via email, text messages (SMS and chat), calls, or other means of approaching them, where the target can be an individual, group, or large organization lacking awareness. Phishing itself may seem harmless at first glance, but it’s all just a ploy to trick you.
Based on the type of phishing attack, cybercriminals can spread malware to the target system/network, or extract information such as personally identifiable information, banking, credit card details, passwords, etc. that can be used, either for identity theft or financial gain.
How to Cope With Security Awareness Training?
The word “Phishing” sounds like and suggests “fishing” where bait is placed on a hook to lure the prey; Similarly, phishing attacks entice targets to click on links, open attachments, provide their information, and so on.
Phishing activity has steadily increased since 2019, with 71% motivated by financial gain. Security experts have reported that of all breaches involving phishing, 29% involved the use of stolen credentials. It is common to assume that this attack does not have much to gain from the individual, and that the money may not be worth the effort, but contrary to this assumption, the FBI’s Center for Internet Crime Complaints has recorded an estimated loss of $57 million for the attack. phishing.
Security awareness training helps employees identify cyber attacks and prevents them from making common but unintentional mistakes.
6 Common Phishing Scams That Can Be Stopped With Security Awareness Training
Email Phishing: Email is one of the prominent modes of malware delivery, with reports showing that 94% of malware is spread via email. Cybercriminals disguise themselves as banks, e-commerce websites, NGOs, and others. To send malware as attachments with misleading file names (gifts, coupons, invoices, free apps, etc.) Or links to malicious sites, after downloading and running the files, may lead to the installation of malware on your device, then cybercriminals can ask you to pay a ransom to unlock all your sensitive data (personal data, financial data, username & password, etc.) which can give them financial benefits.
Spear Phishing: When cybercriminals make an attempt to personalize their phishing emails through snooping, it is called spear phishing. In order to appear less suspicious and increase your chances of taking the bait, cybercriminals get more information about you from easily accessible sources like social media.
Voice Phishing: This type of phishing attack uses phone calls, in which the caller falsely impersonates a legitimate organization and primarily intends to extract personal and sensitive information such as bank account numbers, usernames, passwords, OTP (one time passwords), pins and etc). Using advanced methods such as AI (artificial intelligence), cybercriminals carry out attacks more effectively.
SMiShing : Involves using text messages to trick people into divulging sensitive information and harming them financially. This is said to be one of the oldest and most common scams, in which threat actors target unknowing users.
Social Media Phishing: This type of attack uses social media sites to build trust between cybercriminals and their targets. Cybercriminals use this to carry out social engineering attacks, in which fake profiles are created, targets befriended, and private and sensitive information is extracted.
Website Counterfeiting: This type of attack is said to be one of the most effective strategies against individual users. As the name suggests, cybercriminals create fake websites or change the address bar of malicious websites to look exactly like the real site.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams?
Individual users can prevent phishing attacks through awareness, and applying some level of caution when performing digital activities, and using cybersecurity tools.
Here are the best methods to avoid phishing attacks:
Anti Phishing Tool: Has the benefits and features of spam filtering, scanning attachments, detecting phishing emails, blocking suspicious identities, and more.
Email Handling: Regardless of whether you have an anti-phishing solution installed on your device, every user should analyze and confirm if the email is legitimate.
Vishing and SMiShing Security Precautions: Do not share usernames, passwords, or authentication pins with anyone calling or texting.
Online Phishing: Never share any personal information in the online world.
Phishing prevention for non-technical people is enhanced by anti-phishing education and awareness provided by many leading organizations such as Aware of the EC Council. With this, company employees can know and be aware of the importance of Security Awareness.