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Email Phishing Protection Tips For Businesses

Jan 26, 2023 | Cybersecurity, E-Mail

Is email phishing protection on your radar? Email is an efficient and cost-effective means of communication that offers ease of use and affordability. However, these characteristics also make businesses increasingly vulnerable to data breaches and ransomware attacks.

Phishing is a cyberattack that reaches out to a target via email (and other communication channels), beginning with phishing emails to unsuspecting employees or decision-makers. It attempts to collect sensitive information either directly or via malicious links. Attackers also trick users by getting them to download malware that damages both financial health and the brand’s reputation.

8 Email Phishing Protection Tips For Your Businesses

Read on for eight tips for small businesses that want to avoid a phishing email and phishing messages, as explained by the leading provider of cybersecurity services in the Bay Area.

Invest in a high-quality spam filter to catch every phishing email

A business sees many emails per day. While some only contain irrelevant or unsolicited information, others are malicious. Without spam filters robust enough to catch malicious emails and send them to your spam folder, your organization is vulnerable.

Most email filter tools will screen domain names and IP addresses.

Adopt multi-factor authentication to forestall any phishing attack

As cyber attackers become sophisticated, even a strong email password won’t be enough to protect all your business data. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long with a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters. However, examples abound of cyber attacks that cut through even perfect passwords.

Multi-factor authentication may prevent such attacks. It adds an extra validation step to your email account, typically through a code sent to your phone or a separate email address. This way, the hacker cannot glean sensitive data or complete their identity theft schemes because they need access to your inbox as well as to your smartphone.

Implement electronic encryption for email phishing protection

Can cyber criminals read the plain text emails you send from your business account? Not if you encrypt sensitive information to keep third-party eyes off your data. Encryption ensures email phishing protection in the case of a phishing attack. 

These options may include outsourced email hosting services. An email client may also be able to install email security certificates.

Avoid accessing your business email on public networks

Fast internet in airports and coffee shops means there’s always the temptation to log in to your email and do some work while you wait. However, such networks may expose your personal and financial information to third parties. 

If you have to use public, unsecured networks, be sure to turn on your VPN to protect yourself against phishing. Avoid free third-party VPNs, as they may expose your bank details and other private data.

Educate your workforce on phishing attacks and cyber threats

Do your employees know how to protect the business from phishing email attacks? They need to understand how to avoid most phishing attacks and how a successful phishing attempt could affect the business.

Discuss all the characteristics of a phishing message or malicious content and how attackers can mimic a legitimate company. Your workforce also needs to know the following:

  • Identify a malicious site and suspicious links across online accounts
  • Distinguish between a real and a fake email address
  • Never give out personal information over email (or phone)
  • Be wary of any email with links
  • Avoid sharing personally identifiable information or financial information on social media accounts
  • Avoid opening attachments in suspicious emails
  • Scrutinize every link before clicking (by hovering over them to examine the web address for misspellings or mismatched domains)
  • Watch for spelling errors in emails
  • Take a step back and request a fresh perspective from someone else when there’s some unnecessary urgency in an email’s messaging
  • Use strong passwords and turn on multi-factor authentication for maximum email phishing protection
  • Do not use work devices for entertainment to avoid downloading harmful software
  • Detect angler phishing when attempting to reach customer representatives of contracted vendors
  • Watch for phishing attempts in a text message or direct messages on social media
  • Pay attention to phone calls, text messages, and incoming messages from third-party platforms

It is also a great idea to set up an anti-phishing working group. Why not start a channel for employees to report phishing emails, a flagged web page, a malicious link, and any other suspicious messages? Make this user training a regular feature, organizing random test phishing campaigns with a benign phishing email to reveal where employees need more training.

Protect against phishing with anti-malware software

Up-to-date antivirus software and other monitoring tools can prevent phishing attacks by flagging suspicious attachments before a user opens them. A company-wide anti-malware system can also identify when your corporate network becomes the victim of a targeted campaign.

Update your browser software to prevent

Did you know that you can protect yourself from phishing by simply updating your browser? Modern web browsers warn you when you’re about to visit a known phishing website or any malicious website. Thorough phishing scammers avoid these flags, but basic protection helps, especially if you tend to store passwords on your browser.

Add an approval layer for electronic payments to prevent phishing scams

During phishing attacks that aim to obtain funds illegally, the criminal’s strategy fails when at least two people must vet the electronic payments. Giving one employee or decision maker unilateral authority over payments and control over all your bank accounts primes them as a target of a spear phishing scam. They will likely receive more phishing emails than others and be the focus of identity theft tactics.

Choose Expert Help For Effective Phishing Prevention

There will always be a risk of business email compromise until all employees and decision-makers imbibe an anti-phishing culture. The largest data breaches often start with a phishing email, which is not always obviously a suspicious message to undiscerning internet users.

Are you still unsure about your brand’s preparedness against phishing? If you need help training your employees to be more security aware, our experts know how to ensure comprehensive protection against all types of phishing.

Call Renascence IT Consulting at (510) 552-6896 today or visit our Newark, CA, office for more about email phishing protection strategies.

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