Phishing prevention best practices

Have you ever clicked on an email that seemed legitimate, but wasn’t? 

Prevent security breaches from phishing attacks.

One-third of all cybersecurity breaches involve phishing; a common type of cyber-attack that you and your team should learn about in order to protect your organization.  

What is Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering cybercrime in which an attacker poses as a legitimate institution in email or text messages. Attackers lure individuals into providing sensitive information or data through malicious links or attachments that install malware. This information is later used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft or financial loss.  

Sometimes attackers are satisfied with personal data and credit card information. But commonly, phishing is used to gain access to sensitive data in corporate or public sector networks. Everyone should be aware of these attempts and learn to protect themselves from phishing attacks.  

What to do when you think you received a phishing email?

How to spot phishing attacks 

To fight phishing scams, employees need to be aware of the threats, such as the possibility of bogus emails landing in their inbox.

Our cybersecurity experts suggest you look for these six signs to assess if an email is illegitimate:  

  • Check the email address of the message 
  • Assess unfamiliar tones or greetings
  • Look for threats or a sense of urgency 
  • Be weary of unusual requests such as “Can you buy me this Amazon gift card?”. 
  • Keep an eye out for consistent grammar and spelling errors 
  • Avoid suspicious file types (.zip, .exe, .htm, .iso, etc) 

If you are still unsure, don’t visit the links implanted in the email. Instead, take the long way! For example, if the email suggests Netflix wants you to reset your password, rather than clicking the link in the email, open a new tab and reset your password directly from the legitimate website.

64% of organizations experienced phishing attacks in the past year.

What to do if you think your network has been breached  

Phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated and it’s getting harder to spot threats, so it’s not uncommon for you or an employee to fall for one.  

Typically, your cybersecurity system will protect your important data, but a small misconfiguration on your firewalls or routers can unknowingly grant cyber criminals access to your systems or network. 

Here are some tips for you if you think your network has been breached:  

  1. Contact your IT team. If your business has a proactive threat detection and response program, likely they have already detected the breach and can react accordingly to protect any sensitive data.  
  1. Change your passwords. Take the time to change your login credentials to ensure the assailant cannot inflict further damage.  
  1. Whether you downloaded an attachment or clicked on a link, it’s a good idea to scan your computer for viruses and malware. If your company utilizes a Managed SIEM program the gap between compromise and detection is minimized substantially. This can reduce attacker dwell time and mitigate the potential impact of malware installed from the link.   
  1. Watch for warning signs of identity theft. Keep a close eye on your bank and company credit card statements. Look for any withdrawals or purchases that you haven’t authorized. 
  1. Proceed with caution. Keep an eye on anything the attacker might’ve accessed during their short-lived attack.

The best way to protect your data from phishing attacks is prevention.

Given the time, money and hassle involved in recovering from a phishing scheme the best way to avoid becoming a victim of an attack is awareness and caution.  

Difenda’s penetration testing and vulnerability assessment can assess your network’s weaknesses. Our cybersecurity experts will assess the security hygiene of your perimeter devices, servers, applications, and encryption technology. We can target anything that is accessible from the internet for potential security vulnerabilities. That way, if a breach happens, cybercriminals can’t get access to the targeted data.  

You can also minimize risk by arming your team with the tools to spot and avoid phishing emails. Security awareness training is one of the best ways to protect your business. With 64% of organizations experiencing a phishing attack in the past year, it pays to fortify your team with increased awareness and proceed with due diligence. 

If all else fails, and your business is compromised, Difenda’s Remote Incident Response team can help! 

If you think you are experiencing a breach contact our team now.

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Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon