Cybersecurity is more important than ever in today’s increasingly digital world. Not only is your data at stake, which includes private business and customer information. Cyber threats like phishing can wreak operational havoc and be incredibly expensive to recover from.
Phishing is faking an email from a reputable source to access company information. That can mean emails from your bank, other employees, or vendors. For the trained eye, these emails can look obviously fake. Others click the link and enter their personal or company information without a second thought.
Today’s hackers aren't dummies. They are typically highly skilled and use sophisticated information and malicious code to launch thousands of attacks a day — often with success.
To protect and prepare your organization against the ever-increasing phishing attempts, let’s investigate the six questions you should ask yourself.
1. Are you training employees to detect a phishing attack?
Training employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams is key. And it all starts with what a phishing scam looks like. Show them real-life examples of phishing attempts and how to identify malicious emails. Quiz your employees to make them aware of how deceptive these emails can be.
Well-executed phishing emails can fool even the most security-aware person. To keep security awareness top of mind, train your employees. Because phishing is becoming increasingly widespread, companies should also offer employees clear instructions on dealing with suspicious emails.
You can also make simulated phishing attempts to help keep your employees aware.
2. Are employees changing passwords regularly?
Frequently changing passwords is a great way to keep data more secure. Continuously changing log-in details keeps hackers at bay and makes it more difficult for them to access private or company data. Create a company-wide password frequency date and change your passwords every third or fourth month.
Never use the same password for all applications, platforms, or channels. Use different logins for every digital access point, including your computer log-in. If the number of passwords becomes overwhelming, use a tool to manage your passwords.
3. Are your accounts protected with multi-factor authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires two or more credentials to log into your account. The other verifications can come in many forms, like a fingerprint, a password from an authenticator application, or a randomly generated security key. More advanced authentication can include retina or face scans.
With an additional layer of account security, hackers will fail to get account access even if a first password leaks. And even though there’s a possibility hackers can break through both authentications, it’s much harder and rarer.
4. Are company software and apps frequently updated?
Software companies are constantly working to fix bugs and hacking vulnerabilities. But you have to keep them updated. An easy way is to update your software and making sure all your applications are running on their latest versions at all times. A best practice is enabling auto-update, so you and employees can spend less time wondering if applications are up-to-date.
Furthermore, your mobile phones should also run on their latest version. Like computers, phones run on operating systems that can be susceptible to vulnerabilities. By making sure all phones run on the latest version, you ensure that you all have the latest protection against security threats.
5. Are employees using anti-phishing apps/software?
Anti-phishing applications and software can help you stop phishing attempts — even if someone manages to click on an insecure link. If you haven’t already, a critical first step is configuring anti-phishing settings in Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.
You can also use anti-phishing toolbars, which are web browser extensions that warn users if they have opened a suspicious phishing link or malicious website. Today’s most popular web browsers also feature settings that warn users about suspicious websites.
6. Does your company have desktop and network firewalls?
Firewalls are like protective shields that are highly effective in stopping phishing attempts and hackers infiltrating your network or business computers. But for the most part, one firewall is not enough. The most secure way is using a desktop firewall and a network firewall. Typically, a desktop firewall is a software, while network protection typically is hardware-based.
Both in combination give you excellent protection against outside threats.
Unveil your business security gaps
Keeping your company employees aware of security threats goes a long way. But continuously refreshing cybersecurity information and strategies is key. After all, one opened phishing email is all it can take for a hacker to take control.
Take a proactive approach, train your employees to recognize and deal with threats, keep your software up-to-date and set up security controls. With multi authentication for logins and the latest firewalls, you can drastically reduce the risk of hacking attempts.
But in the never-ending fight against highly skilled hackers, industry-leading expertise, strategy, and cybersecurity software can take your company security even further.
We can help unveil the security gaps of your business. Contact us today!