Phishing emails, how to appropriately combat them?
As the technology becomes more sophisticated and more widely used so do the cyber criminals and cyber-attacks. More than ever, cyber-attacks and cyber breaches focus on a monetary gain over just doing damage, and they are often able to succeed because the tools that help protect against cyberattacks are expensive, complicated, or can be so intrusive that they slow down or frustrate business. This is the case regarding phishing emails.
From an IT point of view, capturing or separating only fraudulent emails can and is very difficult. If the security is too tight, you may see legitimate emails being captured or prevent personal email programs (web based) from being used. If the security is too loose you may allow the unwanted emails coming in and end up overexposing the organization to them.
It can be extremely difficult to adjust the security appropriately to find a good balance. Another pain point can be to decide what to do after you filter the emails that look like phishing attempts or malware. Most organizations give the end recipient the ability to release them through quarantine, junk or spam folders, but the threat is yet there.
Combating phishing emails should be a balance of risk and cost. Each organization is different in how they do business. It is essential to test the environment and the people who use the service, which are considered the best line of defense. Based on the results of testing it could be easier to plan strategies to minimize the risks to the organization.
Education and training can be effective strategies since employee awareness is the number one defense against phishing emails and malware. A phishing email campaign can also be put together to find the holes before the bad guys do. But these strategies involve costs and process changes, which need to be appropriately justified to management teams or ownership. In the end, the best solution should be a combined effort from all parts in order to minimize phishing and malware, as it is impossible to completely eradicate it.
If you have questions or would like expert IT advice on how to set up a security plan for your business, feel free to contact us for assistance: