How to protect yourself from falling prey to phishing emails

How to protect yourself from falling prey to phishing emails

With over 298 million malware attacks detected in Asia alone, one should think twice before clicking on an e-mail link.

According to a recent report by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, more than 298 million malware attacks were detected in Asia. Phishing e-mail, the modus operandi for such attempts, is calibrated to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on compromised URL links.

“Phishing e-mail is the easiest way to penetrate a network. When somebody in the organisation gets hacked, the whole (company) network is compromised,” explains Luke Ku, principal consultant for Connectivity Global, a Singapore-based firm providing e-mail security services.

Identifying such threats requires an investment in employee education. “The devil’s in the details,” says the 46-year-old, who has had over two decades of experience in the information technology industry. While phishing e-mail messages are crafted to mirror correspondences from real companies, spelling and grammar mistakes often give them away. Paying attention to e-mail header details, which reveal the e-mail’s server of origin, is also key to assessing their legitimacy.

However, relying on human judgment demands constant vigilance. For a user who deals with hundreds of e-mail messages each day, all it takes is one erroneous click to jeopardise the entire network. To that end, Ku believes that e-mail security efforts powered by artificial intelligence (AI) form a more robust line of defence. Machine-enabled learning can study e-mail correspondence patterns at scale and swiftly flag anomalies.

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