What can endpoint security do to help prevent phishing attacks? Can endpoint protection platforms help mitigate the effectiveness of spear-phishing? If so, how?
When we think of phishing attacks, we tend to think in terms of detection and reaction. Often, cybersecurity awareness programs instruct users on how to recognize and report a phishing email attack. Most of the discourse surrounding phishing operates on the assumption that an attack already found its way into the network. From there, it becomes a matter of finding out what is compromised and mitigating.
Yet it is possible to prevent phishing attacks from occurring in the first place. Perhaps ironically, this preventive approach to phishing stems from endpoint security, the natural evolution of antimalware.
Yes, the key capabilities of endpoint security can also prevent phishing attacks. All it takes is a little creativity and some awareness of your cybersecurity needs.
Endpoint Security and Phishing
Data Loss Prevention
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) serves as one of the most critical security tools available. In essence, it prevents sensitive data from leaving the enterprise network; it can block emails from leaving with critical data or prevent users from uploading data to public cloud databases.
At first glance, this has nothing to do with phishing attacks. However, sensitive data does not always involve trade secrets, proprietary technology, or customer data (although those are critical). Remember, spear-phishing attacks thrive off any information that can add legitimacy to the message. Therefore, sensitive information in this context can include the chain of command, work process sequences, temporary projects, phone numbers, and public databases in use. Even work emails can enough in the wrong hands
While you can’t censor everything leaving your enterprise—communication still matters to third-parties—you should consider what information you want leaving the enterprise on a regular basis. Think about your DLP policies and make adjustments.
Of course, endpoint security’s prevention of phishing attacks centers on email security. This capability prevents malicious URLs or sources from emailing the company in the first place. Advanced email security can also scan the content of the incoming message to check for malware.
Remember, traditional phishing attacks rely on the user uploading their credentials to a malicious site, but this is not the only form. Sometimes, even clicking on a link in a phishing email is enough to launch a malware payload. In the most extreme cases, even opening the email alone can trigger a cyber attack.
Best to keep those emails out of the hands of your emails in the first place. While email security cannot catch all malicious emails, it can severely limit the incoming number and thus limit the chances of being opened.
Threat Intelligence Feeds
Of course, prevention only works if your security team and endpoint security tools know what to seek. Otherwise, it fumbles blindly and can’t perform optimally. Thankfully, next-generation endpoint security offers up-to-date threat intelligence feeds to help your team understand incoming threats. It finds new malicious websites to help identify likely sources of phishing attacks.
You can learn more about endpoint security in our Buyer’s Guide.
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