As information technology plays an ever-increasing role in business, it becomes vitally important to harden your organization against penetration by cybercriminals. According to a recent report, 91% of hacker attacks start with phishing. Read on to learn how combining education with managed IT services in Austin can help you avoid the pain of successful phishing strategies against your operations.
What is Phishing?
To understand the role of education in your organization in hardening your systems against cyberattacks, it is important to understand what phishing is.
Phishing is the term for the use of electronic communications to masquerade as a legitimate or known entity in order to obtain sensitive information. That information can be usernames, passwords, credit card or bank details, or PIN numbers.
It is important to understand that even such otherwise mundane information like job titles, telephone numbers and extensions, or email addresses can be useful to cybercriminals. They can build up information for use in more sophisticated phishing attacks, known as spear phishing.
What is Spear Phishing?
Spear phishing is a form of phishing attack that is aimed at a particular person. Typically, spear phishing targets senior executives. They tend to have great responsibilities, hold more authority, and be busier. This means they may have less time to authenticate the identity/truth of a purported caller or email.
Because phishing attacks can be so valuable to cybercriminals and yet are mostly a form of social engineering (the manipulation of individuals through deception and fraud), the way to defend against them is also largely in the human domain, rather than being a technological solution, which can be provided by a managed IT services provider in Austin.
Educate Your People
To avoid the dangers of both regular phishing and spear phishing, it is important to educate your people. Take steps to ensure everybody in your organization understands what phishing is, how to recognize it, and how to avoid falling victim to it.
Phishing scams often use fear to great effect. They may craft their email to look like it comes from someone high up in your organization, ordering staff to do something. They may warn that a login is going to be deactivated or that there is an emergency and important information needs to be provided outside of the usual channels.
Make sure staff understand that it is easy for criminals to masquerade as legitimate entities and respected individuals. Train staff to follow secure protocols. Pick up the phone and call people to establish the legitimacy of emails. Don’t simply download attached files or click on links in emails.
Security Through Technology
Education is a huge component in securing your organization against the dangers of phishing. However, it is important to make use of antivirus software and email tools that will stop malware from being installed via emails.
By working with a managed IT services provider in Austin, you can implement network, email, and internet-access safety that will stop malware getting through. By combining education of your people with suitable cybersecurity tools, you can stop the vast majority of cybercrime from causing you harm. At Contigo Technology, we can help you implement a systemic approach to hardening your systems. Contact us today to learn more.