Phishing emails used to have a reputation as easy-to-spot scams involving foreign hackers trying to part people from their money. However, today they are recognised for the threat they present to enterprises, educational institutions and even nation-states. Phishing attacks have advanced since their initial deployment and are more nuanced than ever before.

As well as being harder to identify, these attacks are now far more dangerous. Rather than trying to fool businesses into parting with funds, they are more commonly used as the first stage in more devastating assaults such as ransomware attacks. In this blog, we’ll detail some important measures that firms can adopt to mitigate and limit the damage of these harmful tactics.

Get informed and educate

To defend against an attack, potential targets must first understand them. Phishing attacks often come by email and contain a sense of urgency designed to induce a specific action from victims. Malicious links or attachments will be included in emails. Links can lead users to fake sites appearing as legitimate log-in pages with the intention of stealing credentials. Attachments often contain malware and, once downloaded, infect devices and spread laterally throughout networks.

Once you understand how phishing attacks work, you can train your teams to spot and report attempts, turning each employee into an informed, active sentry. Ensure phishing training is ongoing to keep up to speed, as attackers’ tactics always evolve.

A good tip is to train your new staff members as part of your company onboarding process to reinforce the importance of cybersecurity and avoid mistakes that new employees encounter. Never make personnel feel foolish for reporting a potential attack, as it may save your company the expense of a breach, which can result in weighty fines from regulators and a damaged reputation.

Employ strong mail filters

As email is a common attack vector for phishing ploys, try and stop as many of these malicious messages from entering your employees’ inboxes as possible. Robust, secure mail filters allow you to whitelist the companies, partners and customers you regularly deal with and blacklist the latest threats detected by experts with suspicious content or senders. This process ensures that critical communications are never delayed from arriving with your staff, so no business processes are ever impacted, while also keeping company mailboxes free from harmful messages.

Encrypt your data

With the understanding that even governments and business giants can fall foul to phishing attacks, it is vital you protect your data against intrusion. By encrypting your data files and communications, should a threat operator steal credentials or gain access to your network via phishing, your assets and company correspondence will remain uncompromised, saving your firm from a devastating data breach.

To start using end-to-end encryption now, get in touch with our expert team at Galaxkey. We will arrange a free two-week trial for you of our powerful three-layered solution that is approved by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), enabling you to get protected fast.