Email phishing scams are skyrocketing. Three billion phishing emails are sent every day, as per ZDNET.
These scams also have a substantial negative impact on businesses. As per the FBI, Business email compromise scams were the most expensive at $1.8 billion.
You don’t want your business to fall prey to email phishing scams, right? Read this piece to learn about:
- Overview of email phishing scam
- The current state of email phishing
- Ways to avoid the scams
What is Email Phishing Scam
You have received $1,000 in your bank account; click here to see it. If you have encountered any such email, it’s part of the email phishing scam.
An email phishing scam involves an attacker sending emails that appear to be from reputable sources. These emails are meant to trick customers into providing sensitive information.
The links inside the bogus emails are near-perfect compared to the legitimate ones. However, they are designed to steal a user’s information or infect their system with a virus.
Is Email Phishing Common?
Yes, email phishing is common. 91% of all cyberattacks begin with a phishing email, as per research conducted by Deloitte.
Email phishing scams are often successful because they rely purely on human judgment errors. For instance, opening a malicious link, downloading a virus, or entering personal information on a fake site.
5 Best Ways to Avoid Email Phishing Scams
According to Alert Logic, an average user receives about 16 phishing emails per month.
There’s no way to eliminate email phishing scams completely. But here are five ways how your organization can avoid getting caught by them:
1. Go Passwordless
With email phishing scams, hackers try to lure in sensitive information from users, like their passwords. But what if your organization didn’t work on traditional password-based security?
You can eliminate a solid portion of email phishing scams by going passwordless. Unlike entering passwords, passwordless solutions give users a way to sign in/sign-up without providing any sensitive information.
Passwordless authentication is the way forward as it doesn’t involve entering passwords explicitly. Solutions like Passkey create cryptographic key pairs stored locally on your device. Whereas OpenID Auth relies on platforms like Google, Microsoft, and Apple to authenticate a user.
Other passwordless solutions offered at Vault Vision are:
- SSO with Email
- Hardware Key Auth
- Universal TOTP Auth
2. Provide Appropriate Training to Your Employees
To avoid email phishing scams, you must train the people who are on the frontline. These include your organization’s customer support, IT admins, developers, sales, and more.
The training must include the following:
- What an email phishing scam looks like: Educate your employees about email phishing scams. Provide them examples so they can easily identify the risk.
- Practices for handling bogus emails: Enlighten them never to open any such emails and immediately delete them immediately. And if they have opened it, never CLICK THE LINK. Moreover, block suspicious senders.
- Other important actions: Never provide personal information until absolutely necessary, look out for non-secure websites, and update passwords regularly.
- Report email phishing activities: Lastly, stress the importance of immediately reporting email phishing attempts so your organization can take appropriate actions.
3. Incorporate DMARC
To protect your organization from email phishing scams, incorporate Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, or DMARC.
DMARC is an email authentication protocol that fights against email spoofing attacks and phishing scams. Here’s how it works:
- A domain owner gets to publish a policy in their domain’s DNS record.
- The policy specifies two things. The mail servers authorized to send an email and the actions of the receiving ones when a message fails DMARC evaluation.
- To verify the sender’s domain authenticity, DMARC uses two other authentication protocols, SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail).
- On failure, the message is treated as spam, rejected, or quarantined per the policy.
With a successful implementation of DMARC, your organization can ensure secure email communication.
4. Ensure Systems are Up-to-Date
Email phishing scams are getting bigger and newer with the passing of time. So, systems in your organization must also be ready to tackle new challenges.
Ensure the systems of your organization are up-to-date. From operating systems to web browsers, update everything. Tech companies release new security updates almost weekly to safeguard users from security loopholes.
Assign your company’s IT team to update all the systems weekly. Ask them never to ignore any update rolled out by the browsers, operating systems, and software the systems use.
5. Use Antivirus Software/Endpoint Protection and Strict Email Filtering
The AV-TEST Institute registers over 450,000 new malicious programs and potentially unwanted applications daily. So, implementing Antivirus software is a must as they provide a complete package to prevent email phishing scams and more.
Antivirus software delivers:
- New security definitions with eligible workarounds are added frequently
- Provide safe access to the internet by blocking malicious sites, ads, and more
- All files are scanned that come through the internet
- Automatic removal of dangerous files
The importance of antivirus software can’t be stressed enough. It is a last defense line to help your organization stay safe and secure.
Make sure you have email filters setup to block executables, script files, html files as attachments. It is also a good idea to have Office macros disabled.
Email phishing scams are always looming over your organization. A single human error from one of your employees can cause your company to lose data, money, and customer trust. Use the 5 ways we have provided to avoid it.
To go passwordless to minimize the risk of email phishing scams, try out our free trial at Vault Vision. We help businesses integrate passwordless user authentication solutions without code via OpenID, Passkey, Universal TOTP, and more.