Phishing is not a new phenomenon – it has been the most common attack vector for cybercriminals for a number of years – but, due to the increasing complexity of phishing scams, knowing how to spot a phishing email is becoming more important than ever before.
In spite of advances in anti-virus protocols and detection technology, phishing attacks continue to increase in number and impact. Everyone is a target in today’s cyberwar climate but, by educating your workforce about how to spot phishing and deal with phishing attacks appropriately, today’s targets can become the primary defense sentinels of the future.
How to Spot a Phishing Email Begins with Knowing What is a Phish
The first step in spotting a phishing email comes with understanding what a phishing email is. The most accurate definition of a phishing email is an email sent to a recipient with the objective of making the recipient perform a specific task. The attacker may use social engineering techniques to make their email look genuine, and include a request to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide other sensitive information such as login credentials.
Socially engineered phishing emails are the most dangerous. They are constructed to be relevant and appear genuine to their targets. The recipient is more trusting of the email and performs the specific task requested in the email. The results can be devastating. If the recipient clicks on a link to a malware-infected website, opens an attachment with a malicious payload or divulges their login credentials, an attacker can access a corporate network undetected.