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Human Errors: How To Mitigate Risks Of Email Phishing Attempts

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Each year, businesses invest millions of dollars towards upgrading their cybersecurity defences to fend off cyberthreats. According to a recent Cybersecurity Drive report, cyber investments are projected to increase by 14% annually in 2024, with cybersecurity services accounting for the lion’s share at 42%. Despite the latest advancements and upgrades in cybersecurity technology, human vulnerabilities remain the foremost cybersecurity concern globally. Research and marketing firm Cyber Edge Group found that 82% of cyberattacks in 2023 exploited human weaknesses such as email phishing, in which cybercriminals can achieve entry points to access secure networks and hold businesses hostage with ransomware attacks.

The good news? These attempts by cybercriminals to exploit human errors are preventable with some guidance and training. Here are some tips and recommended training guides to minimise the occurrence of successful email phishing cyberattacks.

1. Education

Cybercriminals employing email phishing scams find success by operating on a massive scale. Phishing emails are sent to tens of thousands of individuals, and out of the numerous recipients that can spot the signs of a scam attempt, it only takes a small percentage of readers to be deceived and fall victim to ransomware scams. Victims are usually those who lack cybersecurity awareness.

To combat these attempts at deception, businesses must raise awareness and educate their employees on the signs of email phishing attempts. With regular updates on emerging scams, businesses can significantly lower the rate at which email phishing attempts succeed.

Emails that play on fear and urgency, use unfamiliar greetings, or have sketchy email addresses – these are just some scam indicators that MyRepublic’s Managed Email Phishing Program teaches employees to look out for in the fight against cyberattacks. Paired with their onboarding teams that help guide you through a formal program development process, MyRepublic’s Managed Email Phishing Program hits the ground running to educate employees against email phishing risks.

2. Simulation

Practical experience is paramount when equipping your organisation with the skills necessary to combat email phishing attempts. There’s no substitute for real-world training. Through hands-on workshops that simulate email phishing scams, employers can immerse their teams in a series of tailored phishing scenarios that sharpen their ability to spot fraudulent emails.

Programs such as MyRepublic’s Managed Email Phishing Program, take a step further by collaborating with businesses to craft customised phishing email templates that closely resemble genuine industry communications. These templates may include emails with official letterheads or spoofed email addresses to mimic realistic scenarios.

After each workshop, program experts systematically identify and report individuals who struggled with the exercises. This enables key decision-makers to gain valuable insights into potential human vulnerabilities. With this information, employees can receive targeted additional training to strengthen their defences where needed. Ultimately, these simulated phishing attack workshops offer a risk-free opportunity to gain practical expertise in identifying and thwarting fraudulent emails.

3. Failsafe Measures

While training and education effectively reduce the likelihood of successful phishing attempts, it only takes one oversight to grant cybercriminals full access to your systems.

To address this risk, it is crucial to have robust systems in place. Incident Response Plans are pivotal in mitigating the potential impact of successful email phishing scams, particularly if sensitive data is compromised. By responding swiftly and containing the breach, businesses can limit financial and operational fallout from these attacks.

For example, MyRepublic’s Cyber Incident Response Retainer provides 24/7 incident response support to ensure you are never alone when faced with a cyberthreat. Upon receiving a report, MyRepublic Incident Responders promptly assign a dedicated incident manager to identify, contain, and neutralise the threat.

Need a little expert help to enhance your current cybersecurity measures? Book your free assessment with MyRepublic Business today, and see how we can help safeguard your business from email phishing attacks.