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October 2016
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October 2016
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Training to Defeat Phishing

Friday, September 30, 2016

Even as technology grows more sophisticated, hackers still rely on several low-tech ways to gain access to a company’s network. Phishing is by far the most favored tactic, and as hackers perfect their techniques and companies fail to train employees properly, the success rates of such low-tech methods are growing. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the number of unique phishing websites increased by 250 percent from October 2015 to March 2016. Because phishing emails are able to bypass traditional technological safeguards that protect networks from direct attack, the main way employees can protect themselves is through training. “It’s not possible to shut down email, so it’s about embracing the challenges and being prepared for them,” says Nicola Mortimer, head of business products, marketing, and operations at Three Ireland. “You need the tools in place to protect employees and the investment that the company has. That includes education and training and there’s also a place for governance.” However, this training can’t be a generalized lecture or a click-the-right-box exercise. “Half-day seminars will not change corporate culture,” says Ciarán McMahon, a director of the Institute of Cyber Security. “The best awareness programs start slowly and gradually educate the workforce as a whole over time. Security requires an ongoing development process—this is as much about human resources as it is about IT.”

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