October 13, 2023

October Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Learn about Combating Phishing Campaigns, Spotting Deceptive Emails, and Defending against Man-In-The-Middle Website Attacks for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Christine DavisDirector, Marketing

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: ⁠Elevating Employee Vigilance Against Ever-Evolving Threats

October is recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a critical reminder for businesses and individuals alike about the importance of staying safe and secure online. With cyber threats continually evolving, one of the most potent defenses remains, surprisingly, human vigilance.  It’s crucial for organizations to take proactive measures to stay ahead of these threats and ensure data remains secure. 
Phishing Campaigns: Deceptively Simple, Devastatingly Effective
One of the most common and successful forms of cyberattacks is email phishing. These are deceptive emails that trick recipients into clicking malicious links, downloading infected attachments, or divulging personal or company information.
A particularly devious form of phishing is spear-phishing, where the attacker customizes the email to a specific individual or organization, often using details that make the message seem genuine.
Spotting the Deception
Paying attention to the email addresses of incoming emails is crucial. Cybercriminals often use email addresses that look similar to legitimate ones, with subtle misspellings or domain changes. For example, [email protected] might be mimicked as [email protected].
Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Website Attacks.
Beyond email, cybercriminals deploy website-based attacks, like the man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. In a MitM attack, a hacker secretly intercepts and relays communication between two parties. When applied to websites, this might mean capturing login details when a user believes they are accessing a legitimate site.
It's imperative for users to:    
  • Verify the URL of the websites they're visiting, ensuring it starts with "https://" and checking for misspellings.
  • Not input personal or company details on websites they accessed through unsolicited links.
External Sender Warning Banners: A Simple Yet Effective Measure
Given the sheer volume of phishing attempts, many organizations have found success in implementing a straightforward tool: external sender warning banners. These banners alert users when an email originates from outside the company, urging them to double-check the content before taking any action.
While it might seem simple, this visual cue can make the difference, reminding users to pause, review, and ensure they're not about to become the next victim of a cyber-attack.
Closing Thoughts
Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportune time for businesses to evaluate and elevate their cybersecurity posture. Central to this is recognizing that while technology plays a pivotal role, the human element—armed with the right knowledge and training—can be the most robust line of defense against cyber threats. 
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