Follow Jaron Linkedin
Email Jaron Email
Technology
Sep 23, 2021

Help Employees Spot Spear Phishing with These Training and Testing Tips

Sponsored Content provided by Jaron Cayton - President, Team Logic IT

Cyberthreats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and companies that aren’t effectively mitigating risks are sitting ducks for cybercriminals. In previous articles, we’ve shared tips on recognizing and recovering from account takeovers and improving data security with strong business continuity planning. In this month’s article, we explain how to manage the risks of spear phishing attacks.

A highly targeted form of phishing, spear phishing is behind the majority of successful data breaches. Hackers begin by researching specific individuals who have access to the information or credentials they’re seeking. Then, they create a convincing email that appears to be sent from a trusted source.

If employees aren’t prepared to immediately recognize and report a spear-phishing attack, they could unknowingly compromise your entire system. With advanced hacking techniques, it could take only one click for employees to infect their workstations with malware and compromise your network. Once hackers gain remote access to one of your company’s computers, they can log keystrokes, access the webcam and microphone, download additional malware, and even gain administrator access to your whole network.

Frequent Employee Training Is Your First Line of Defense

Employees who aren’t required to complete regular, high-quality security awareness training are easy targets for spear phishers. Employee security training should drill key points, such as never releasing sensitive information via email and exercising caution when emails prompt the recipient to click on links or open attachments.

Your company’s training also should cover the risks posed by social engineering, which is when cybercriminals harvest personal information from social media accounts to use in spear-phishing attempts. Hackers frequently use publicly posted information to gather information on a target’s trusted contacts, such as a family member or colleague, which they use to make the spear-phishing email appear as though it is legitimate.

To be most effective, employee security training should occur at regular intervals, rather than annually, to keep critical security protocols at the forefront of employee’s minds.

Put Your Employees to the Test with Phishing Simulations

Testing your employees with simulated spear-phishing emails is the only way to assess if your security training is working and determine the extent of your risk exposure.

An experienced IT security consultant like TeamLogic IT can help you set up a spear-phishing testing campaign to tell you exactly which employees are prone to clicking on suspicious emails. Then, the consultant can help you remediate any security skill deficiencies with targeted, web-based training.

Spear phishing testing should happen frequently so employees stay in the habit of being alert. Once your employees know they will receive regular surprise tests and have their performance compared to their colleagues, their behavior begins to change. As a result of regular testing, employees typically become more likely to stop and think critically about an email before clicking on a link or responding with sensitive information.

Rather than waiting for an inevitable spear-phishing attack to happen, mitigate your security risks now with frequent security training and targeted phishing testing. Doing so will help your company cultivate a culture of polite caution when responding to requests for data.

Of course, strong security practices take a multi-layer approach. Now that you know the basics of reducing your spear phishing exposure, check back next month for TeamLogic IT’s overview of using multi-factor authentication to protect your data.


As president of TeamLogic IT, Jaron Cayton consults with business owners and executives to enhance their IT solutions and internal communication tools. As a former educator, Jaron is skilled at teaching others to be proactive in handling cybersecurity in today’s constantly evolving marketplace. Committed to building positive customer relationships, Jaron enjoys helping clients to protect their business and assets with technology that matches their needs. Whether your company is looking for IT consulting, education, security solutions, or referrals, TeamLogicIT aims to serve as your trusted technology advisor.

Teamlogicit 75201115261 9232135545
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Pfinder john zachary

Maximizing Your Retirement: The Top 3 Reasons to Rollover Your 401(k)

John B Zachary - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting
Untitleddesign5

The Transformation and Evolution of Leadership

John Monahan - Vistage
Chris coudriet

A Look Ahead at New, Continued Initiatives for New Hanover County in The Next Year

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

OPINION: The Case Against A 135-foot Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

Isabelle Shepherd - Jul 15, 2024

Payne Named Director Of Development At Hill School

Staff Reports - Jul 16, 2024

College Road Shopping Center Sells For $8.5M

Cece Nunn - Jul 16, 2024

Jones Tapped As WARM NC's CEO

Staff Reports - Jul 16, 2024

Once Slated For Apartments, Site Off Market Street Could Get 60 Townhomes

Emma Dill - Jul 15, 2024

In The Current Issue

Doctor Building Trust At Jordan Clinic

At the corner of 15th and Greenfield streets, the first clinic opened its doors in April with Emilia Parrott as lead physician and Nicholas...


Nonprofit Groups, Governments Aim To Preserve Area Trees

“If you speak to individuals, no one is against trees,” said Dan Camacho, the new executive director of the nonprofit The Alliance for Cape...


Apiture Measures Generational Tastes In Banking

A majority of the youngest American consumers – including 80% of Gen Z and 81% of millennials – report that digital banking is at the core o...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season