How to Protect Your Business From Spear Phishing
What is spear phishing? How does it impact organizations, and what can be done about it?
Spear phishing is a big threat these days.
What is Spear Phishing?
If you aren’t familiar with that term, it’s when bad actors look for ways to compromise a specific individual. They might send an email that looks like it’s coming from somebody they already know. And they crafted it in such a way that it’s almost impossible to detect that it’s not from the person that you might think it’s from.
It’s important to understand just how patient and how much work these people are willing to put into it. And there’s a fairly large payoff for them if they succeed. So they spend a lot of time looking for ways to target a specific organization.
We could give you numerous examples of emails that individuals received that looked like they came from the CFO of the organization or the CEO of the organization. And everything looked exactly like the email that it was supposed to have come from.
A lot of individuals think that because their business isn’t that large or important, they aren’t high-profile enough to be targeted. But it doesn’t just happen to large organizations today. Even a small organization is considered a high-value target. And if they can find an organization that doesn’t have all the proper defenses in place, it becomes fairly easy to compromise an organization.
Are You at Risk?
Business leaders tend to think that no one would target their organization. It’s not something that’s going to happen to them, because they’re a little company in a little town.
It usually starts with a smaller breach that can makes somebody a target, but it really can happen to anybody. It’s not just something that happens to very large corporations at this point.
Protecting Your Organization Against Spear Phishing
How do you protect yourself against spear phishing and other cyber threats?
The best thing you can do as an organization is to have a clear strategy around IT security management. You want some way to objectively measure the health of your IT security. And you need to improve your infrastructure constantly to keep up with best practices. That’s the most effective way to ensure that you have your bases covered.
There are also technology solutions that you can put in place. And there are a lot of policies and procedures that you can put in place to protect your organization.
The other component today is a good cyber insurance policy. Make sure you have coverage if there is some kind of worst-case scenario. You want to be able to look to professionals like an incident response team. They can come in and coordinate the legal help and PR help you’ll need. You want somebody who can come in and help you get back up and running.
A cyber insurance policy is the last line of defense when everything else has failed, but it is an important part of the process today.
Protection Starts with a Process
There are a lot of different ways that CopperTree works to protect our clients.
It really starts with an ongoing process of improvement. Every month we look for ways to improve our client’s infrastructure.
We go in and measure your IT against our objective standards to see how you stack up against these security standards.
We give our clients a score to show how they stack up and what they can do to improve their infrastructure. Because what everybody wants is peace of mind. Business leaders need to know that they can sleep at night because the infrastructure is secured as well as it can be. You’ve done everything that you can do for an organization of your size.
Layers of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is always about layers. It’s about doing enough without breaking the bank. And we try to find that balance for each of our clients.
It’s different for each client. Some need to take cyber security much more seriously than other organizations because of the industry they’re in and the information that they have.
We start by understanding your business. We understand what your and plans and goals are. And we understand what the risks are in your organization based on our work in your infrastructure.
Then we put together a plan. If you’re 85% aligned with our best practices today, for example, here are some things that you can put in place. And we help you to move the needle every month on an ongoing basis.
There are lots of examples of organizations that have been compromised. Recently, in our community, someone sent an email sent to the CEO of an organization. It looked like it was from somebody that they do business with on a regular basis.
He clicked on it, and the systems that they had in place were not able to detect an issue. And his credentials were compromised. His email was used to send out emails to all of their clients, and there was a huge PR nightmare.
This is something that everybody wants to avoid at all costs. Our goal is to prevent these situations for our clients.
“Nobody Wants To Be In The News For That Reason”
It’s been interesting to see how some of the cybersecurity stories in the news have impacted our clients’ perceptions. Spear phishing and cybersecurity have been at the forefront of people’s minds. They see all of these stories, and nobody wants to be in the news for that reason.
Again, it’s about having a good process. There are a lot of technology solutions that can be put in place to protect your organization, including:
- Spam filtering
- Anti-phishing tools
- Content filtering tools
- User training
- Phishing testing
CopperTree has developed a security program that lays out everything that we believe every organization should have in place. There’s a baseline of tools that every organization should have in place now.
We help you figure out where you fit into that according to your organization’s needs. Are there things that you should be doing over and above that baseline?
You can also look at some of the more in-depth cybersecurity tools that are available. Those include live monitoring of everything that happens in your organization or on your network.
It really depends on what your risks are as an organization and what the payoff is if something goes wrong. What are you comfortable with as an organization? So we start by understanding where you are, what your goals are, and then we’ll put a plan in place and we’ll help you execute that plan.