How to Protect Users from Phishing

Written by Brandon White on October 21, 2020

Share This Article

Identifying a phishing attack is increasingly complicated—especially for end users that might be distracted when checking email and not think about what they’re clicking. Even if users have been trained on how to recognize phishing, one wrong click can lead to a world of problems for an organization. 

Once an end user’s account is compromised, the result is stolen money, intellectual property theft, and real-world identity theft. 

IT administrators are responsible for protecting their organization from phishing, even when that means protecting end users from their own risky behavior. With phishing becoming the most frequent threat to the cyber landscape, successful prevention is essential to organizational success.

Increasingly Sophisticated Attacks

Historically, IT admins and MSPs have relied heavily on teaching end users to detect phishing attacks. Everything from double checking email spelling to calling up someone you regularly communicate with when something you get from them seems off—these tips and tricks can keep users informed and aware of how to stay secure.

With training, end users do become more sophisticated. There are many training materials and even vendors that can help organizations react to phishing attacks to ultimately avoid compromise.

But training can only go so far when hackers are responding by becoming more sophisticated with their attacks. 

Attackers have begun employing complex infrastructures on their phishing sites that end users have a difficult time identifying as illegitimate. This can range from using reputable sharing links, such as Dropbox, to placing calendar events with video conferencing links that appear standard. 

Even more threatening to modern organizations is the ease with which all phishers can access this sophisticated technology. Cyber criminals can easily purchase phishing kits, designed to duplicate reputable sites, and simply must forward an email embedded with malicious links to initiate an attack.

Can Point Tools Protect Users?

With the increasing risk from sophisticated attacks, software vendors emerged to complement education alone to detect an attack. 

To identify malicious senders, the vendor would scan a user’s email, looking for telltale signs of phishing. These could be URLs not matching where they said they were going, sender analytics, and even natural language processing techniques. 

As this technology became more widely adopted, the vendors made minor advancements. Many anti-phishing vendors turned to technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to help in their efforts to detect malicious senders. 

But neither scouring emails nor relying on AI is a perfect solution. The chance of a phishing attempt being successful persists even with these measures in place, as something could slip through the gates and the end user could be put at risk.

Cloud Directory Platform: Better Protection for Your Users

For an IT organization that is diligent about user training and even traditional software implementation, the risk of compromise is not negligible—and the impact could be catastrophic.

So, how can admins and MSPs further protect their end users from phishing? The best answer is to entirely change the way end users secure their identity through a cloud directory platform.

By leveraging a modern identity management platform to secure a user’s identity, they can make significant advances to protecting their end users from phishing.

Rethinking How We Reset Passwords

One of the most critical features of a cloud directory is the password reset protocol—which redefines the very process that hackers are trying to take advantage of. 

Instead of that process occurring on websites, end users only update their password on their machine using a native application. This eliminates the need to go to a site, which can be faked by hackers. It also means all users can simply ignore any email that requests a password reset via a link.

Furthermore, through single sign-on technology, end users can access their web applications from a safe user portal. This extra layer of protection further eliminates the practice of clicking on a link and providing credentials.

These techniques can completely change the game for end users and their IT admins by eliminating the opportunity for a user to get phished.

Next Steps

Want to try out this new way of protecting users from phishing? Try JumpCloud’s cloud directory platform for free. You can add 10 users and 10 systems with all of our premium functionality in a fully functioning account. Plus, you get 10 days of premium 24×7 in-app chat support to answer any questions that might come up, phishing or otherwise.

Continue Learning with our Newsletter