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Phishing Scams and Social Engineering: How to Protect Yourself

Phishing scams have become more common in recent years, with cybercriminals using a variety of tactics to trick people into disclosing sensitive information. Cybercriminals use a variety of phishing techniques to trick victims into disclosing sensitive information such as login credentials or financial information. These scams are most commonly carried out through emails, texts, or social media posts that appear to be from a trustworthy source, such as a bank or a government agency.

In this blog post, we’ll look more closely at phishing scams, particularly as they relate to social engineering, and we’ll also go over how to defend yourself against these types of attacks.

How do phishing scams work?

Phishing scams work by duping people into doing things like clicking on a link or providing personal information. This is typically accomplished through the use of social engineering techniques such as instilling fear or urgency. For example, an attacker may send an email purporting to be from a legitimate source, informing the victim that their account has been compromised and that they must click on a link to reset their password. When the victim clicks on the link, they are taken to a bogus website that appears to be legitimate and asked to enter their login information. This information can then be used by the attacker to gain access to the victim’s bank account.

The practice of psychologically manipulating others to achieve a desired outcome is known as social engineering. It typically entails creating a sense of urgency or fear, or rapport. Phishing scams frequently employ the tactic of social engineering to convince victims to provide personal information or carry out other tasks.

Social engineering tactics used in phishing scams

Creating a sense of urgency or fear: A sense of urgency or fear may be evoked by the language used by scammers, such as warnings that an account will be closed or that the victim will face consequences if they do not act right away.

Building trust: Scammers may employ language and branding intended to inspire confidence and give the target the impression that the message is genuine.

Asking for personal information: Scammers may request personal information such as login credentials or financial information under the guise of resetting a password or resolving an issue.

Use of authority: Scammers may impersonate a government official or a representative of a well-known organization to make the victim believe they are legitimate.

Urging to click on a link: Scammers may ask the victim to click on a link in order to resolve an issue or access an account, but the link in reality leads to a phishing website.

Identifying Phishing Scams

A. Signs of a phishing email

There are several signs that an email may be a phishing scam. These include:

  • The sender’s email address does not match the organization or person that the email claims to be from.
  • The email includes spelling or grammar errors.
  • The email includes a sense of urgency or fear.
  • The email asks for personal information.
  • The email includes a suspicious attachment or link.

B. How to spot phishing scams on social media and other platforms

Phishing scams can also occur on social media and other platforms. To spot a phishing scam on social media, look out for:

  • Suspicious links or messages from unknown senders
  • Posts that create a sense of urgency or fear
  • Posts that ask for personal information
  • Posts that include suspicious attachments or links

C. Tools and resources for identifying phishing scams

There are several tools and resources available to help identify phishing scams. These include:

  • Email filtering software
  • Anti-phishing browser extensions
  • Security awareness training programs
  • Phishing reporting websites

Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams

A. Tips for avoiding phishing scams

  • Be skeptical of unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls
  • Do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders
  • Do not provide personal information or login credentials
  • Keep your computer and other devices updated with the latest security software
  • Be wary of emails that create a sense of urgency or fear

B. Best practices for staying safe online

  • Use a strong, unique password for each of your accounts
  • Use two-factor authentication when available
  • Keep your personal information private
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware software
  • Use a firewall to protect your computer
  • Be cautious of opening email attachments or clicking on links

C. How to recover from a phishing scam

  • Change your login credentials immediately
  • Check your financial accounts for any unauthorized transactions
  • Contact the organization that the scammer impersonated
  • Report the scam to the appropriate authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

Stay Safe and Aware

To protect yourself from phishing scams, it’s important to be able to identify phishing attempts, be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls, and don’t provide personal information or login credentials. Additionally, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow best practices for staying safe online, such as using strong and unique passwords and two-factor authentication. If you do fall victim to a phishing scam, it’s important to take immediate action to change login credentials, check financial accounts, contact the appropriate organization and report the scam to the authorities.

It is also important to be aware of the ever-evolving phishing tactics and stay informed about the latest methods used by scammers. Regularly educate yourself and your colleagues about new phishing attempts and keep your security software updated to protect your devices. Additionally, it’s important for businesses to have a comprehensive security plan in place to protect against phishing scams, and to provide regular training for employees on how to spot and avoid phishing scams.

For businesses, it’s important to have a comprehensive security plan in place to protect against phishing scams. This includes providing regular training for employees on how to spot and avoid phishing scams, implementing security software and firewalls, and having a plan in place for dealing with phishing attempts that do occur.

Deepwatch protects firms from phishing attacks!

The industry leader in sophisticated managed detection and response (MDR) security, Deepwatch protects firms from phishing attacks by announcing that its MDR Essentials solution now includes email security features. With increased worries about phishing and advanced email threats, MDR Essentials’ new email defences, powered by Avanan, a Check Point Company, provide an additional layer of protection against the ever-changing threat landscape.

Bobby Christian, Chief Operating Officer at Deepwatch said, “IT and security teams in mid-sized businesses are overburdened and often wear ‘multiple hats. One of the most time-consuming tasks is to review user-reported phishing and malicious emails. We’re proud to partner with Avanan to help alleviate this burden from IT teams while simultaneously strengthening security posture and reducing risk from ransomware attacks.”

Deepwatch’s MDR Essentials may now deliver inbox safeguards against phishing, malicious email blocking, and ransomware payload prevention – all for less than the cost of hiring an in-house security expert – thanks to new email security capabilities.

The following are some of the new Deepwatch MDR Essentials email features:

Phishing protection in your inbox

Malicious emails are quarantined and blocked.

Protection against ransomware payloads in phishing emails

Within minutes, you’ll be up and running.

24/7/365 expert supervision

Phishing protection in the cloud

Don Byrne, Global Head of Sales, Email Security at Check Point said, “Phishing is the number one cause of breaches, and more than half of all ransomware campaigns start with a phishing email. In order to combat the most advanced phishing attacks and stave off ransomware, a modern approach to email security is necessary, one that is AI/API driven and built to secure cloud email. Beyond next-gen email security, the key to our success has been preventing ransomware attacks from reaching end-user inboxes while saving IT and SOC teams countless hours. With Avanan now part of Check Point, we are more confident than ever in our ability to deliver meaningful results to Deepwatch and their customers.”

Read more news on Deepwatch: https://infosecurityoutlook.com/artera-partners-with-deepwatch-to-secure-its-infrastructure/

Cloudflare Announces Email Security Solution

Cloudflare has announced that it will make enterprise-grade email security features available to its customers, after the acquisition of Area 1 Security. Email remains one of the most significant security concerns to businesses of all kinds, yet old email security solutions are frequently expensive, unnecessarily complex, and difficult to adopt.

Cloudflare with the acquisition of Area 1 Security, will be able to deliver businesses with a simple method to take advantage of robust phishing and malware detection as part of an integrated, Zero Trust approach to securing all their organization’s applications.

CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, Matthew Prince, said, “Email is the largest cyber-attack vector on the Internet, and we believe that you shouldn’t have to be a Fortune 100 company to be secure from email threats.”

Large email carriers’ spam protection is frequently enough for preventing unpleasant spam, but they are not suited to tackle sophisticated phishing attacks. Because email remains a popular entry point for more sophisticated cyber-attacks, businesses of all sizes must incorporate email security into their entire security strategy. Legacy email security technologies are frequently expensive, sophisticated, and need physical or virtual infrastructure that many firms without a strong IT team cannot afford.

Cloudflare users will benefit from Area 1 Security’s cutting-edge email protection, which is simple to use and highly effective and can be enabled in just one click. We’re designing Cloudflare’s email security tools to use email data to trigger additional security actions like automatically routing suspicious links through remote browser isolation or displaying phishing insights within the recently launched Cloudflare Security Centre because it’s integrated with Cloudflare’s suite of Zero Trust solutions.

Following the acquisition of Area 1 Security, all enterprise plan clients will have access to Area 1 Security’s email security features. Customers on all other premium plans will be able to use it in the future. Customers on the Enterprise plan will be able to use analytics to gain more control, customization, and advanced visibility.

Cofense Validator Detects Security Overlaps In Email.

Cofense released Cofense Validator, a technology that allows businesses to validate the effectiveness of their secure email gateways (SEGs) with active, live phishing threats on their own.

Secure Email Gateways consume a large percentage of an organization’s budget to prevent phishing attempts. Cofense Validator allows you to compare your spending to that of your colleagues using real-time phishing data.

Cofense CTO and co-founder, Aaron Higbee said, “There are numerous options out there when it comes to selecting a secure email gateway, and they often promise to block 99% of bad emails, some at a much higher cost than others. Until now, customers had to rely on ridiculously contrived bake-offs conducted by the SEG vendors using self-serving datasets. Of course, they are going to pass their test. They know how difficult it is for customers to curate live phishing data to perform their independent testing. Cofense’s 24×7 visibility into threats such as BEC, ransomware, credential harvesting, and malicious attachments that have bypassed major SEGs allows Cofense Validator to be the only objective analyzer of SEG performance.”

The Cofense Validator tests a customer’s SEG by transmitting real, in-the-wild phishing threats recognized by Cofense to see how effective it is at stopping those active threats. Customers see an immediate return on investment thanks to reports that provide quickly actionable data.

Cofense Validator applies what we know about advanced phishing strategies from Cofense Intelligence to evaluate SEG efficacy against the current, verified, live phishing threats – not older threats already found on popular access deny lists or threats cherry-picked to make an SEG review look good.

Stellar Cyber’s Open XDR strengthens security operations for Barracuda users

Stellar Cyber has announced the integration of its security platform with Barracuda CloudGen Firewall, Barracuda Total Email Protection, and Barracuda Web Application Firewall, offering managed security service provider (MSSP) clients and prospects with improved visibility, cyber threat hunting, automated incident correlation, and remediation.

“Our customers know that Barracuda delivers best-of-class email, network, and web application security solutions. When it comes to defending against today’s sophisticated cyber threats like ransomware and data breaches, they are looking for full visibility and automation,” said Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda Networks.

“We already offer Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR optimized for our MSP customers. This new integration with Stellar Cyber gives our enterprise customers a holistic view of their infrastructure and the capabilities to coordinate incident response to attacks in real time.”

The Stellar Cyber platform integrates the XDR Kill Chain and AI-driven correlation of detection techniques and warnings into automatically generated incidents on an incredibly simple dashboard with visibility all over the attack surface, so analysts know precisely what to look into and how to look into it.

Furthermore, the inbuilt multi-tenant functionalities of Stellar Cyber find things simpler for Barracuda’s MSSP partners to offer SOC-as-a-service to its end-user customers.

“The Stellar Cyber Open XDR platform brings additional value to existing Barracuda product investments by ingesting their logs, enriching the captured data, analyzing that data for threats, and then automatically remediating attacks through the firewall as well as other systems,” said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. “It’s great to see this level of integration to protect customers.”

“By integrating our Open XDR AI-powered cybersecurity platform with Barracuda’s popular solutions, we deliver a new level of visibility and SOC capabilities, such as correlated threat analysis, threat hunting, and automated remediation, to Barracuda customers,” said Paul Jespersen, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at Stellar Cyber.

“Our purpose-built platform collects and ingests data from all existing security tools and presents a single dashboard that clearly identifies and prioritizes security threats, all the way from individual alerts to sophisticated incidents or attack stories, in a way that maximizes efficiency in SOC operations.”

Barracuda is focusing on strengthening its integrations with Open XDR systems such as Stellar Cyber. Clients of Barracuda will be able to more effectively block ransomware and stay ahead of attackers that use credential theft and account takeover in email security to stop further penetration.

BlackCloak raised $11 Million Series A Funding to Expand Digital Executive Protection Platform

BlackCloak, the first Digital Executive Protection platform for professionals and high-profile people in the cybersecurity business, announced that it has raised $11 million in Series A funding from TDF Ventures, with participation from TechOperators and DataTribe.

“This investment in BlackCloak highlights where the cybersecurity market is heading. Attackers are keenly focused on Board members, senior executives, and other key personnel in companies across every industry. They realize that if they can penetrate this inner circle through their personal accounts and devices, they can hit the jackpot in terms of a corporate breach, intellectual property, or other sensitive data,” said Jim Pastoriza, Managing Partner, TDF Ventures.

“It is a known issue that our online activities and devices have been at risk for some time, but what is new is the idea that personal digital lives can have a direct impact on the company. From unemployment fraud impacting entire executive teams to the exposure of corporate information through personal email, the risks and consequences are very real. BlackCloak is exclusively solving this issue,” said Dr. Chris Pierson, CEO & Founder, BlackCloak.

“High-profile individuals often find themselves outside the umbrella of protection provided by their companies and are forced to rely on weak, consumer grade-products. BlackCloak gives security teams, and the executives they support, security and peace of mind,” said Tom Noonan, General Partner, TechOperators.

BlackCloak is increasing its patented technology offering in both the cybersecurity and privacy space, improving its interaction with members, and growing its team and sales operations with this Series A round.

Paubox Launched Zero Trust Email Security

Paubox, the leader in HIPAA-compliant email, has announced Zero Trust Email, a new addition to the Paubox Email Suite. Zero Trust Email is the first and only solution of its type, designed to help healthcare institutions protect sensitive data and Protected Health Information (PHI) against cyber-attacks.

Because more than 93 percent of healthcare businesses have had at least one security breach in the last three years, a solution to counteract phishing assaults that infiltrate email security systems was critical. Attackers are creating accounts on GoDaddy, AWS, and Mailgun servers, which are all controlled by American infrastructure corporations. This enables these thieves to bypass spam and malware detection software used by the sector. Paubox responded by launching Zero Trust Email.

Hoala Greevy, Founder CEO of Paubox said “A core tenet of Zero Trust security is multi-factor authentication (MFA). While most of us associate MFA with text messages or authenticator apps, there is a broader definition. MFA simply means more than one piece of evidence is required to authenticate a user. As it relates to Zero Trust Email, we built a system whereby an additional piece of evidence from the sender’s mail server is required before it passes our Inbound Security checks. The additional evidence is determined by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm we created. In effect, we are incorporating email AI into the core of Paubox. Healthcare continues to be a primary target for cybersecurity attacks. This extra layer of verification is critical to keeping bad actors at bay.”