Phishing attacks certainly aren’t what they used to be when they originated in the mid-1990s.
As time went on, the internet took off, social networks proliferated, a global pandemic ensued and phishers got savvier. Plus, our reliance on technology has made us extremely vulnerable to cyber criminals, making phishing one of the greatest cybersecurity threats of our time.
In just the past year, there’s been a double-digit increase in global weekly cyber attacks.
That’s why it’s more important now than ever before for your business to stay protected against phishing attacks.
And most experts would agree that when it comes to protecting your data, anti-phishing software is the best place to start.
What is Anti-Phishing Software?
Unlike other cybersecurity measures, anti-phishing software is a tool specifically dedicated to phishing prevention. It’s comprised of multiple computer programs that are designed to identify suspicious content or data—whether that be through websites, emails, pop-ups or even links on the internet.
Anti-phishing software can even integrate with your web browser’s toolbox and/or your email inbox to prevent fraudulent websites and phishing links from coming through. It can also target malware, spoofing, spam and other related cyber crime techniques.
How Does Anti-Phishing Software Work?
Simply put, anti-phishing software contains built-in phishing and malware protection to help keep you safe from hackers.
It works by first scanning for nefarious links or possible malware downloads, and then it blocks those suspicious files, discards malicious emails and filters unwanted spam emails into a separate folder.
This keeps the unwanted content from ever reaching the device and sends a warning to the user.
Does Anti-Phishing Software Really Protect Companies?
Anti-phishing software can go a long way to prevent damage from a cyber attack—and it’s better to prevent an attack before it happens than it is to recover from one.
Phishing emails have quickly become the most common delivery method for ransomware, which can wreak havoc on any size business. So, any prevention against phishing can also protect your business from serious cyber issues.
For example, the most damaging ransomware attack to date, called WannaCry, came in 2017. At the time of the attack, no one had any idea of the global impact that it would have, and it forever changed the way we look at cybersecurity.
A United Kingdom National Health System (NHS) physician was one of the first to discover the attack, breaking the news on Twitter that his company’s computer screens had been locked. They didn’t know it at the time, but the attack would ultimately result in 70,000 infected devices and a total shutdown of one-third of their hospitals; but it didn’t stop there.
Because our systems are so interconnected these days, unpatched internet-connected computers were falling victim to the WannaCry attacks and unintentionally spreading it through their entire network in a matter of minutes. Even after technology experts were able to combat the ransomware, they couldn’t stop the spread until WannaCry ravaged every system and data point it touched.
In the end, 300 organizations across 150 different countries were affected.
Without anti-phishing software to block fraudulent emails, hackers can use highly advanced spear phishing techniques to disguise their real email addresses and easily hijack a victim’s data or a company’s system and extort money for their return.
According to MIT Technology Review, ransomware attacks netted $7.5 billion in the U.S. alone in 2019. This is a huge problem, especially for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who may not be able to financially recover from an attack.
On the other hand, companies that do use anti-phishing software are already in a greater position of protection.
How Do I Pick the Right Anti-Phishing Software for My Business?
Any business serious about eliminating attacks and protecting data should consider implementing anti-phishing software, but it can be difficult to make a selection. Today’s business software solutions are diverse and complex, with wide-ranging features and capabilities.
It’s important that companies conduct thorough research to select the anti-phishing software that is right for them, or enlist the help of an IT professional. Businesses might also want to consider investing in additional anti-phishing tools like anti-virus software, firewalls, data encryption and cloud-based solutions.
Learn More about Anti-Phishing Software
No business is completely immune to phishing because our employees are still human.
Still, instituting preventative measures, training employees to identify phishing red flags and using anti-phishing software can help significantly to protect your organization.
Warren Averett Technology Group offers an “agnostic” approach to software selection. Our software specialists are knowledgeable about the best software solutions for your company’s industry, and we want to help you implement the best solution possible for your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your organization can get started with anti-phishing software, or other services we provide, contact our technology advisors today.