Virtually all businesses are now subjected to phishing attacks on a regular basis. Regularly quoted figures suggest that 76% of businesses where subjected to phishing attacks during the last 12 months alone.
This means that the threat of being attacked in this way can no longer be ignored. Defending your systems and workplace against phishing is of paramount importance.
With this in mind, a wide range of Anti-Phishing Tools and services have now emerged. Each of these promises to ensure that your organization is kept safe from scammers and attackers.
But understanding the way that these systems work and the services that they provide, can be less than straightforward.
So, in this article we’re going to discuss many of the anti-phishing tools that are currently available.
An excellent place to start with anti-phishing tools is with anti-phishing toolbars. These are small downloads and plug-ins that can be easily utilized within your web browser.
Some of these programs are completely free, while others require playing a minimal fee, before downloading what is a fairly lightweight client. This software is then ready to help you detect phishing sites, running unnoticed in the background at all times.
Anti-phishing toolbars are useful as they check everything that you may click on in real-time, blocking anything that could possibly be malicious. This is useful for those who aren’t particularly technologically savvy. But there is a downside to this technology as well.
The fact that toolbars are generally free to download is not exactly an indication of quality and research has also indicated that this approach to phishing has a relatively low success rate.
Certainly, toolbars shouldn’t be viewed as comprehensive anti-phishing coverage. Even if they can be a nifty and useful tool in some circumstances.
Antivirus programs aren’t specifically intended to address phishing, but as phishing attacks often accompany viruses they can be useful in identifying and blocking such attacks.
Possibly more useful though, is the fact that antivirus programs install firewalls, which act as gatekeepers for traffic within your network.
Certainly, any anti-phishing approach should include antivirus programs, particularly for those people running networks on PC platforms. But antivirus software on its own should certainly not be seen as a solution to phishing attacks.
This is perhaps the most obvious solution to the dangers of phishing – dedicated software specifically intended to root out phishing attempts. Aside from helping to eliminate phishing, anti-phishing software also targets malware, spoofing, spam and other related techniques.
It’s the obvious place to start when building a sturdy network intended to keep out any unwanted digital intruders.
Anti-phishing software works by intercepting and scanning any nefarious links or possible malware downloads. Such programs block any.exe files, and also discard any malicious emails, while also filtering unwanted spam email into a separate folder.
Anti-phishing software also tends to completely block any typing boxes should you accidentally access a malicious website.
Of the three main tools that are used to address phishing, anti-phishing software will deliver the best results. But there are certainly other aspects of fighting phishing that you should implement as well.
Another aspect of cloud-phishing tools that is worth considering are cloud-based solutions. These are focused on a wide range of potential avenues for phishing attacks, but often particularly help protect email from attackers.
Cloud-based solutions can be updated on a very regular basis, due to the way that the cloud operates, while cloud-based solutions are also convenient, as they can be built into a cloud package at the retail level
Cloud-based anti-phishing tools aren’t necessarily more sophisticated than other forms of anti–phishing software. But they are more flexible and adaptable, while being able to incorporate the information generated by the experiences of many users.
Tapping into the power of the cloud helps anti-phishing work in an almost automated fashion, complementing other techniques and strategies.
It is also critically important to consider staff training to be one of the central tools involved in weeding out phishing attacks. There are many specialized training courses now being developed with the intention of bringing employees up to speed on the latest phishing techniques and it is certainly advisable to send all employees on such training courses.
It is generally recommended to repeat the process of phishing training every three months, while other techniques such as organising simulated phishing attacks regularly throughout the year can be particularly effective.
Aside from the importance of staff training, another reason to implement it as a form of defence is that it is highly cost-effective. While also ensuring that employees remain engaged and benefit from the experience of improving their skillsets.
Finally, running alongside the staff training in parallel should be a business culture that ensures best practices are continuously implemented and that no employee is left behind in terms of understanding the dangers of phishing.
Anti-phishing strategies should be viewed as a critical pillar in the overall culture of your company, as this will ensure that it is given due consideration.
The key thing to understand about phishing is that it only takes one errant click in order to cause disaster. So all employees need to be on their guard at all times, particularly when dealing with unfamiliar email sources, or parts of the internet that they haven’t accessed previously.
Instilling vigilance and ensuring that employees help one another out, should be considered just as important as software implemented to deal with phishing attacks.
Summary – Anti-Phishing Tools
The most important takeaway from this particular article is that it is vital to use several anti-phishing tools, if you are to successfully eliminate attempts to attack your business.
All tools have their strengths, but combining several together can provide your company with far more protection. Training should definitely form part of your overall strategy, as any organisation’s defences are only as strong as its weakest member of staff.
Phishing is hugely prominent on the internet today and it is essential to take absolutely nothing for granted if you want to ensure that your business remains safe at all times.