In the digital age, where communication flows seamlessly across networks, the threat of phishing attacks has become a prevailing concern for individuals and organizations alike. So we’ve put together this three-part series for you on how they will try to attack you. Cybercriminals have honed their techniques to craft deceptive emails that appear legitimate and exploit human vulnerabilities. This series highlights three potent phishing email attack vectors: Familiarity, Urgency, and Spoofed Domains. We empower ourselves to recognize and thwart these insidious attacks by understanding these tactics.

Familiarity – The Art of Masquerade

Phishing attacks often begin with an element of familiarity. Cybercriminals manipulate our trust by emulating a known entity, such as a colleague, boss, or trusted brand. This tactic depends on our instinct to respond to messages from recognized sources. Attackers might employ social engineering techniques to extract information from public sources, like social media platforms, and then use that information to craft convincing emails.

The subtle manipulation of familiarity is a masterstroke. Victims may receive emails seemingly from a coworker or supervisor, requesting sensitive information or urging them to click on malicious links. To avoid falling for this tactic, you must verify the authenticity of any email that demands sensitive data or action. A simple phone call or face-to-face conversation with the sender can prevent falling prey to this ruse.

Here at Armada IT, we employ multiple layers of defense. Number one is good employee training, which we provide with our Security Awareness training here. We also use several approaches to reduce your vulnerability to cyber attacks, such as Webroot Endpoint Protection and DNS Protection; learn more here. Another highly effective method of preventing attacks is to catch emails before they reach you with Barracuda Email Protection which can detect and quarantine unwanted emails before they get to you.