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What Email Phishing Filters Can Do for Your Security Strategies

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What Email Phishing Filters Can Do for Your Security Strategies

Phishing is the primary attack vector in a majority of targeted threats, so your risk of being the next victim is unnecessarily high if you don’t have security on email servers. Email phishing filters reduce this risk by blocking messages from reaching their intended victim. Instead of relying on human intervention in a phishing attack, implementing email security using phishing filters quarantines messages, blocks them from reaching a recipient, and then allows administrators to review messages to identify any ongoing threats.


What are the Types of Phishing Protection?

Most organizations go with a layered approach to cybersecurity. This means that the organization has several layers of security to handle a particular threat. With phishing, most of your cybersecurity relies on human intervention and their ability to detect and report a phishing campaign. Because humans often miss specific telltale signs of an attack, phishing is an extremely effective way of bypassing any cybersecurity strategies.

Multiple layers of security offer failover in case a single protection fails. Let’s say that you have protection from malware being installed on a local device. Antivirus and anti-malware software could mistakenly allow a zero-day threat to install on the device. With email phishing filters, the filters become your initial point of protection and any antivirus software becomes your failover. Two layers of security, rather than one, lowers the risk of a single threat becoming an incident where recovery is necessary.

Antivirus is a form of phishing protection when malware installation is the payload, but many phishing attacks involve malicious links embedded in a message. Antivirus helps with malware detection on specific domains, but it should not be a primary source of protection. Instead, content filters block users from loading a malicious site in their browsers. Content filtering systems are much more proactive and effective at blocking websites from being loaded in a browser and should be incorporated as an additional layer of cybersecurity for web-based attacks.

Another popular method for phishing protection is employee training. Employee training empowers all users to better identify threats and report them. Usually, training employees to detect phishing also involves training in social engineering detection. Phishing and social engineering go hand-in-hand in a sophisticated attack. An attacker might send a phishing email and then follow up with a social engineering call.

Organizations often rely solely on training employees, but this strategy is a mistake. Humans make mistakes, and a component of a sophisticated attack targeting an organization is to convey a sense of urgency. The sense of urgency often bypasses a targeted user’s training, and the user doesn’t see the red flags until it’s too late. In some successful attacks, the targeted victim is someone who works in operations and has some kind of IT experience. Administrators are often targets of phishing attacks, and some fall victim to the threats.

PhishTitan is an advanced phishing protection solution for companies using M365, powered by AI technology. Sign up for our Free Demo to learn more.

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What is an Email Filter?

You can use several cybersecurity strategies for your phishing protection, but an email filter that detects and quarantines phishing messages is a must. An email filter is the start of your phishing protection, similar to the outer layer of protection that blocks threats from reaching the inner circle. The inner circle is your target, which would be the intended victim in a phishing attack.

In a layered cybersecurity approach, the email filter is the first layer a phishing author must pass, but the attacker still has several more layers to pass before a successful data breach. Good email filters work with artificial intelligence and threat hunting to detect threats more accurately and effectively. Artificial intelligence (AI) integrated into an email filter uses millions of data points to work with contextual attacks rather than scanning for words or attachments. It’s a much better way to filter malicious emails than traditional methods.

Threat intelligence also collects millions of data points, but it’s used to collect information that could be used to indicate that a zero-day is on the horizon. Hunting for threats is what keeps organizations ahead of the bad guys, and it’s a critical component in proactive cybersecurity. Email filtering systems that incorporate threat intelligence into their products will be able to stop zero-days. Zero-day threats are built to bypass current cybersecurity protections, which is why these threats are often the biggest risks to organizations.

An email filter scans messages and attachments using AI to determine if the message is suspicious. If a message is found to be a threat, it’s moved to a safe location on the email server called a quarantine. Only authorized people can review quarantined messages. You could take positive results and review them to find out an attacker’s strategy. Researchers download attachments to review payloads and identify new methods of malware attacks.

Quarantined messages never reach their intended recipient unless an administrator manually sends them to the recipient’s inbox. Good email filters have low false positives, but manually sending messages to the intended recipient also helps the AI learn the changes to the system. It’s also necessary for some businesses to send messages that would normally trigger alerts, but messages are necessary for company research and productivity. For example, a security researcher might want to see a malicious attachment to review code and payloads.

Email filters do more than stop malware. Nuisance spam messages are also blocked. Spam can be dangerous to users and corporate infrastructure, but its main issue is the time it takes to delete spam messages and resources to backup and archive nuisance data. Even when spam messages are deleted, most email systems archive and back up messages in case they need to be recovered at some point. Archiving and backing up spam messages takes up storage space, so it wastes resources and IT budgets.


How PhishTitan Can Help

PhishTitan uses only the most advanced AI technology and threat intelligence to accurately detect malicious messages and block them from reaching your employee inboxes. Our threat intelligence makes PhishTitan a viable zero-day detection tool, so any new phishing strategies and malicious links embedded in messages are detected even if they aren’t commonly known in current security circles.

Any cybersecurity strategy should include email filters. It doesn’t have to be your sole cybersecurity strategy for phishing, but it should be used as a primary defense against threats. Using email filters is a proven way to stop phishing attacks and greatly reduce the risks of being the next victim of a data breach. Most cyber incidents start with a phishing email, so email-based attacks should never be ignored and always be accounted for in your protections.

Using PhishTitan, administrators can set their email filtering system to follow corporate preferences and have email protection set up within minutes. It works in the cloud, so managed service providers can also take advantage of PhishTitan security to stop threats from reaching their list of client environments. Reducing risks is essential for a good cybersecurity posture, and it can save your company millions on incident response, data recovery, investigations, and litigation after a data breach.

PhishTitan is an advanced phishing protection solution for companies using M365, powered by AI technology. Sign up for our Free Demo to learn more.

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