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How to Effectively Recognize and Report Phishing

Did you know Americans lost $40 billion to phishing scams in 2022? Phishing is one of the most popular attack vectors in the world and for good reason – it’s highly effective. It only takes one person to click on a malicious link or file to fall victim, and the impact can be incredibly damaging. Phishing costs businesses millions in lost revenue, downtime, and consumer trust. It’s critical for businesses of all sizes to properly train employees on how to recognize and report phishing scams. In this blog, we’ll outline how to incorporate phishing protections into your cybersecurity plan.

What Is Phishing?

A phishing email or text message aims to steal login data or financial information by pretending to be a reputable company or organization. For example, you might receive a text message that looks like it’s from Amazon telling you someone is trying to hack into your account. The text message then includes a fake login link to Amazon. If a user inputs their Amazon email and password into the fake website, their information is stolen by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals can then buy products via the user’s Amazon account or try to steal credit card data stored inside the account.

Card information isn’t the only thing cybercriminals are after. The end goal for phishing from compromising credentials and passwords to get access to the corporate network to holding data for ransom, which is why everyone needs to be vigilant against phishing emails.

How to Recognize Phishing

Any suspicious or unusual request over email or text should be carefully analyzed. A typical phishing email looks like it’s from an authorized sender like Instagram, Amazon, or even your CEO, but the email is from a fake email address with links to a fake website that only look like they are legitimate. Other phishing indicators include time-sensitive asks, links that don’t match the domain, grammar issues, odd requests, or requests for sensitive/confidential information.

According to Stanford University research, 88% of cyber breaches are due to human error, so training employees regularly on how to detect phishing scams is critical. A once-a-year training is no longer enough — team members need continuous security awareness education throughout the year to expand their awareness of new threats and minimize your business’s risk. With a proactive security awareness program in place, you staff will be trained on how to spot phishing tactics so that they don’t fall victim to clicking on something they shouldn’t.

How to Report Phishing

First, encouraging employees to report any suspicious-looking emails to your IT team quickly helps prevent others from falling victim and improves overall email security. However, many companies don’t have enough IT personnel in-house to evaluate suspicious emails on top of their other responsibilities, which is why email inboxes should have a quick tool to report phishing. Managed Inbox Detection and Response allows employees to easily submit emails for analysis directly from their inboxes with little effort. Plus, they’ll receive a notification within minutes if it’s a malicious or safe email request. This tool also helps your IT department keep track of reported emails for future analysis.

The Best Defense Against Phishing

Your best defense (and greatest liability) against phishing is your employees. Without the right training and tools, you employees could fall victim to attacks. Give team members the continuous training and education they need to recognize phishing scams. Tools like Managed Inbox Detection make it easy for employees to validate their suspicions without having to jump through hoops.

TPx can help strengthen your cybersecurity strategy and increase security awareness for your employees so that they can effectively recognize and report phishing. Contact us today to shore up your defense against phishing.

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