What if one of your employees receives an urgent email from a supplier, and clicks it – and boom, your entire business could be compromised by a spoofing attack?
But we’ve got you covered with our list of nine best anti-spoofing practices you need to educate your staff on now.
What is Spoofing?
Much like a phishing attack, spoofing is a cybercrime that occurs when an attacker masquerades as a reputable brand or person in order to obtain sensitive data. Spoofing attacks impersonate and exploit the identity of the victim’s contacts, major brands, or the addresses of legitimate websites.
Here are some common signs to help your employees spot a spoofing attack:
- Generic email domain: If you receive an email that seems legitimate but is coming from an address at a free email provider — for example email@example.com — chances are it’s a spoofed email.
- Generic greeting: Most companies will refer to you by name, so be cautious of emails that start with “Dear customer” or your email username.
- Asking for personal information: Usually, companies have all the information that they need and won’t email you to request sensitive data. If this happens, you may be targeted by a spoofing attack.
- Suspicious attachments: Beware of any email attachment with .HTML or .EXE extensions, for they may install malware on your computer.
- Inconsistencies: Check if the sender’s name matches the email address they used and if there are spelling or grammatical errors. Most companies use spell-checking tools, so you won’t find typos in a legitimate email.
- A sense of urgency: Often, scammers will lend a fake sense of urgency to create pressure and make you not pay enough attention to details that might give them away.
- Spelling strategies: Hackers will often use letter transpositions that can go unnoticed by the average user and lead you to a fake phishing website.
9 Best Anti-Spoofing Practices For Your Employees To Follow
Check out our tips on how to prevent spoofing attacks:
- Be Vigilant – Keep up to date with the most common spoofing techniques and latest trends. Also, look out for the spoofing signs mentioned above.
- Double-Check – When asked to provide personal or work-related sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card details, call the sender to verify if the request is legitimate. Make sure to use the phone number listed on the company’s official website.
- Be Cautious of Suspicious Attachments – Stay away from attachments that you don’t expect to receive, especially those with unusual file extensions.
- Hide Your IP Address – Do this to prevent IP spoofing.
- Change Your Passwords Regularly – If a scammer does obtain your credentials, they won’t be able to do further damage if you’ve already changed your password. The passwords you use should be complex and hard to guess. A password manager is also a good idea.
- Think Before You Click – The good old mouse-hovering method helps you verify the URL because it shows the actual link that hides behind a cute apparently harmless button.
- Report Spoofing Attempts – If you believe you’re being spoofed, let the impersonated company know to help prevent future attacks. Many companies have a dedicated page for reports and other security problems on their website.
- Keep Your Browser Updated – Updates for popular browsers feature security patches. They are released to resolve security loopholes that scammers discover and exploit. So never ignore messages about updating your browsers. When an update is available, download and install it.
- Use Antivirus Software – Efficient antivirus software will protect you against the dangers that abound on the Internet. From increasingly complex viruses, digging their way patiently through your files, to network attacks, the antivirus software you use must provide appropriate solutions for any of these issues.
However, whether you choose a complex antivirus or a basic one, you should never rely solely on it. Cybersecurity awareness is a crucial factor in protecting your data and devices. It would be best if you learned to spot potential phishing attacks, software that looks suspicious and can be malicious, and other threats. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training program will help you enrich your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge with up-to-date security best practices to keep your company safe from scammers and avoid potentially irreparable damage.