Phishing attacks have been on the rise in the cybersecurity domain. You need to be well prepared in advance to protect your website so that it doesn’t fall into the baits of phishing attacks. Due to a number of strong websites and vulnerability scanner present today, you can secure your website from these phishing attacks.
What is a Phishing Attack?
A phishing attack starts from a fraud email or communication intended to trap the victim. The message shared on the mail looks like as if it was issued by a trusted source. If the victim falls into this trap, then he is asked to share confidential information. In some cases, malware is also installed on the victim’s system.
Types of Phishing Attacks
- Deceptive Phishing
This is the most commonly used method when we talk about phishing. Here, the attacker looks to gain confidential information out of their victims. Attacks may use this information to cause a monetary fraud or even prepare it as the base for other attacks.
- Spear Phishing
This phishing technique targets individuals rather than going for a group. Attackers gather information about their potential victims using social media and other channels. This helps the attackers to customize their communications, thus making them look more authentic and genuine. Spear phishing is considered to be the first step for penetrating into a company’s defense mechanism and then carry out an attack.
In a whaling attack, the attackers usually target the top-officials of a business. These attackers often spend more time in performing research on their target and look to encash on the right moment by stealing their login credentials. For businesses, whaling remains a big concern as the top-executives have access to much detailed and crucial information.
Pharming is an attack that resembles phishing. Here. users are diverted to a fraudulent that might look authentic. However, here the users don’t need to click for landing into a corrupt site. Attackers might infect the user’s system or website’s DNS server and then redirect to a corrupted & fake site, despite typing in the correct URL.
How to Protect User Website?
Talking about phishing attacks, there are certain ways that website owners can take for preventing phishing attacks. There are also certain measures that owners need to take for reducing the damage in case their system falls into the traps laid by the attackers.
Following are some ways in which the website owners and users can secure it from phishing attacks-
1. Installing an SSL Certificate on the Website
Today, it has become important for all the websites to have Secure Socket Layers or SSL certificate installed, irrespective of their size. These installed SSL certificates ensure users that the website they’re using is original as well as authenticated. SSL installed websites have an HTTPS place before the URL, which assures that the website has added encryption on the user data.
Talking about phishing attacks taking place on the websites, SSL certificates are the best choice. If an attacker is looking to copy the website and bait-in users, then this SSL certificate will give a warning to the respective website owner that someone has tried to steal the website content and data. Most of the web hosting providers today offer SSL certificates and adding these is not at all a complicated process. The user needs to just ensure the right type of SSL certificate needed for his website, as there are several types available today.
2. Using Website Vulnerability Scanning Tools
Today, website vulnerabilities have been on the rise, and every minute a website comes under the attack from cyber attackers in one form or the other. It has become inevitably important for the website users & owners to secure their site at any cost.
So, users & owners must deploy vulnerability scanning tools that not only secure their websites from phishing attacks but also from other vulnerabilities and threats that may hinder the performance of their websites. Whenever the user websites go down because of any vulnerability/threat the loss that is incurred is huge along with downtime. No website owner, especially in cases of banks, e-commerce or any service-deliverables wants to face downtimes.
3. Regularly Updating Passwords
The best practice in cybersecurity remains that ideally, no one should have access to the user login credentials or their customers. In case there has been a breach, the user can change these credentials as required. However, the problem lies with the fact that a lot of people are not willing to update their passwords on a regular basis.
Most users follow poor security practices when we talk about passwords. This clearly means that in the case of loss of login credentials, attackers can use those credentials. All the user needs to do is just updated their passwords at regular intervals. in case the user is facing difficulties in remembering the credentials, then using applications like password managers are of great help to users.
4. Setting Up a Two-Factor Authentication
As a web hosting provider, Host.co.in recommends every user to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for all of their online accounts. With 2FA in place, an additional one-time code is generated whenever the users log in to their websites using their credentials. These codes are generated on the go and remain unique to the user account. Today, most of the websites even send out notifications on the user mobile by the means of either email or app installed.
Having 2FA secures user accounts from phishing attackers, despite having illegal access to their email id/username and password. 2FA can be a great tool for users who’re more conscious and want to secure their accounts. Thus, 2FA helps in enhanced mitigation from the damage caused due to phishing attacks.
On a concluding note, we would say that phishing attacks can be escalated anytime, to any user if there are no proper security mechanisms deployed. Users also need to educate themselves on how they can avoid falling into these tricks laid by the attackers.