How to Prevent Attacks

Whether they are broad-based or targeted; whether delivered via email, social media, the web, cloud apps or other vectors; the social engineering tactics used in these attacks work time and time again.

According to ProofPoint research, almost a quarter of the clicks on a malicious email occur within the first five minutes of the message being delivered. And 52% occur within the first hour, leaving very little time to neutralize or mitigate threats. So, it’s vital to prevent malicious messages from reaching user inboxes in the first place.

It’s likely that one of your employees will click on malware at some point, so it’s important to have security systems in place as a backup to stop hacking attempts. So what can you do to prevent these attacks?

• Get advanced threat analysis that learns and adapts to changing threats. Today’s fast-moving, people-centered attacks are immune to conventional signature- and reputation-based defenses. Be sure your defenses adapt as quickly as attackers do.

• Deploy DMARC authentication and lookalike domain (typosquatting) defenses. These technologies stop many attacks that use your trusted brand to trick employees, partners, vendors, and customers.

• Automate some aspects of detection and response. Automated tools can proactively detect security threats and other risks posed by the ever-growing volume of apps your employees use and security orchestration and automation solutions can help you respond faster and more effectively. Consider solutions that connect, enrich and automate many steps of the incident response process. That frees up security teams to focus on tasks that people do best, boosting awareness and security.

While much of the personal defense against social engineering may seem to be common sense, it is vital to invest in employee education about these and other online risks as well.

“It’s really important for everyone at the dealership to be aware of social engineering. Often times, some- one will try to trick you to get access to your data/system,” said Alanah Mitchell, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Drake University. “We’re Iowa and Nebraska nice and accommodating so it’s easy to be like ‘sure, go ahead.’ But at the same time, it’s important to be ‘politely paranoid.’”

It’s important to:

1. NEVER respond to unsolicited communications (email/phone) without verifying the identity of the person on the other side. The simple way to verify is to tell the person you will call them back on a verified phone. Encourage them to stay away from anything that creates a false sense of urgency, and be wary of any form of psychological manipulation. Always cross reference and double check.

2. NEVER open an attachment or access a site from an un-trusted/invalidated source. Tell employees to be very wary of any unsolicited advice or help, particularly if it requires action from them, such as clicking on a link or downloading a file. Stress that any requests for passwords or personal infor- mation are very likely a social engineering attack.

Mar/Apr | The Retailer Magazine | 11

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