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Enhance Your Defense Against Phishing Attacks: A Domain-Centric Approach

7 minute read

Phishing tactics are particularly effective cyberattacks because they are designed to overcome security measures through one of the greatest vulnerabilities any organization has, people. Domain monitoring is part of the first line of defense to prevent phishing attacks because it can identify and shut down phishing attempts before extensive damage is done.

The Growing Threat Of Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks use social engineering techniques to try and extract information or money from employees and customers. Organizations of all sizes are vulnerable to this type of attack, but the opportunities awarded to threat agents increase as the enterprise becomes larger and more complex if anti-phishing software is not properly integrated. Modern phishing tactics can include spoofed websites and emails that direct targets to malicious domains that look legitimate. How are individuals contacted in phishing attacks?

Types Of Phishing Attacks

All phishing attacks work with the premise that a threat agent is a person who has the right to money or information that an employee or a customer can provide. Some  of the most common methods include:

  • Spear Phishing- a targeted phishing attack against a preselected individual.
  • Whaling– a spear phishing attack that targets a person in a senior or executive position that has the potential to deal a large amount of damage to an organization.
  • Clone Phishing- creating an identical copy of an existing email thread or other communication and continuing to request correspondence through the now spoofed conversation.
  • Email phishing scams or spoofed domains- an effective means of tricking individuals into believing they are engaging with a legitimate person or website through emails or websites that appear to belong to the brand. 

Common Phishing Techniques

Tried and true phishing techniques such as email spoofing and targeted messages sent directly to a potential victim’s email are still used because they work. These methods are advanced by threat agents’ increasingly impressive ability to create a look-alike webpage that contains a domain name so similar to the original that a passing glance would not raise suspicions. 

These attacks can be thwarted not only through fallible human caution but more reliably through domain monitoring and other anti-phishing tools.

Domain-Centric Defense Strategy

When customers or employees unwittingly engage with spoofed domains, they can cause damage not only to your organization’s internal digital structure but also to your brand itself. These security incidents decrease customer confidence and could even cause their private information to be obtained and misused by threat agents. How can you increase your anti-phishing protection?

A domain-centric defense strategy using domain monitoring is key to safeguarding your user privacy, your organization’s reputation, and overall cybersecurity. 

How Does Domain Monitoring Work?

Domain monitoring software scans for and identifies TLD and ccTLD registries that appear to pose a risk to your brand or organization. Any newly registered domains that attempt to imitate or spoof your organization are reported to human threat intelligence which can assess the threat and take steps to shut down the imposter domain. The best domain monitoring software leverages the power of AI to quickly analyze all emerging threats and alert human cyber security teams of the observed danger. The software may also be able to begin protective protocols that heighten defense security until a threat is neutralized.

Benefits Of Domain Monitoring

Using specialized domain monitoring tools protects your organization. Domain monitoring offers extensive benefits to your organization’s security and efficiency, including:

  • Early phishing detection- Instead of waiting for a breach to be identified after data has been stolen or misused, domain monitoring can flag communications that link to dangerous or fraudulent domains.
  • Rapid response time- Because fraudulent domains are automatically identified and immediately available for assessment, threat agents are shut down promptly.
  • Brand protection and reputation- Rapid responses protect your brand and reputation by taking down spoofed websites that could damage your relationship with potential customers.
  • Enhanced email security- Emails with illegitimate links to fraudulent domains can be identified quickly before information is stolen or unauthorized access is granted. 
  • Threat intelligence integration- When your threat intelligence response is fully integrated beginning with domain monitoring, your entire online presence is better protected from cyberattacks.

Implementing Domain Monitoring

Domain monitoring software can alert security teams of suspicious or malicious domains. This can begin the process of taking down unauthorized websites and alerting potential phishing victims of spoofed emails. 

Implement domain monitoring by granting domain monitoring AI-driven system permission to hunt down all unauthorized use of your brand or similarly named domains. Then, your cybersecurity team can asses the identified threats and take appropriate domain-protective steps.

Choose The Right Domain Monitoring Service

Be cautious not to assume that all domain monitoring services are the same. Evaluate various service providers and select the one that best fits your organization’s needs and cybersecurity requirements. Taking this step seriously significantly strengthens your defense against phishing attacks and other domain-related threats.

Set Up Real-Time Monitoring Alerts

Real-time monitoring alerts provide rapid visibility into potential threats. This allows security teams to take quick action and respond promptly to emerging security incidents.

Collect Data To Identify Potential Threats

Gathering and analyzing data from the domain monitoring tools allows you to identify and assess potential threats without manually searching, thereby further reducing the time between the emergence and deconstruction of a threat.

Integrate Threat Intelligence Feeds

Integrate threat intelligence feeds into your domain monitoring service to enhance the detection of known malicious domains and patterns.

Report Phishing Domains For Takedown

Use your domain monitoring system to disrupt adversary intentions. Establish a process for reporting identified phishing domains to domain registrars, web hosting providers, and relevant authorities in order to mitigate the risk of phishing attacks.

Implement Dmarc And Whois Data

Effective domain monitoring will include email abuse phishing protection. Consider implementing DMARC  and WHOIS data. DMARC helps prevent email spoofing by allowing domain owners to specify email authentication policies. WHOIS data can help to get insights to identify malicious actors and patterns.

Conduct Phishing Simulation Exercises

Phishing simulation exercises involve creating controlled phishing scenarios to test and assess an organization’s employees’ awareness and responses to phishing attempts. This can provide useful insights into the cybersecurity risks that need to be addressed through training within your organization. Use phishing examples to review the most common types of email phishing scams.

Enhancing Your Defense

Domain monitoring tools are essential to reduce the risk of an effective phishing campaign against your organization by a threat target, but simply installing the tool is not enough. Modern anti-phishing techniques protect your organization more completely and mitigate the risk of a phishing attack succeeding. These techniques help establish protocols that can quickly quell potential threats.

Keep Track Of Ssl Certificates

By keeping track of SSL certificates, you can identify unauthorized certificates or potential phishing websites that have obtained SSL encryption. Without this protection, a lookalike website in a well-designed email could trick an employee or customer into believing they are engaging with a legitimate representative of your brand.

Monitor Social Media Platforms

Social media provides an enormous threat surface, and cybercriminals are aware of the ease of engaging with potential targets over these applications. Effective monitoring of social media platforms can help detect and respond to phishing threats in real-time phishing campaigns and impersonation attempts targeting your brand.

Proactive Takedown Requests

Report phishing domains to domain registrars, web hosting providers, and relevant authorities promptly to mitigate the risk of successful phishing attacks and protect potential victims from falling for scams. Integrating these protocols into your cybersecurity regimen increases your brand security and builds confidence with customers.

Incident Response And Recovery

Quick incident response and recovery enables your organization to effectively respond to security incidents. This provides the opportunity to maintain the security and integrity of your entire organizational systems and data.

ZeroFox Anti-Phishing Software

ZeroFox Anti-Phishing Software is a specialized solution designed to proactively detect and respond to phishing threats. By using ZeroFox Anti-Phishing Software, organizations can strengthen their defense against phishing attacks and stay ahead of emerging threats.

The Crucial Role Of Domain-Centric Defense

Domain-centric defense is the pinnacle expression of modern cybersecurity and anti-phishing protection. Using this comprehensive system you can help detect malicious threats, prevent attacks, protect brand reputation, strengthen security measures, protect users and their personal data, and thereby position yourself as a trustworthy organization.

Embracing A Proactive Approach To Phishing Defense With ZeroFox

Your organization’s cyber security will never be a one-and-done job. However, by taking a proactive, holistic approach to cyber security and keeping up with the evolving demands of an effective and complex security system, you can stay ahead of threats and protect your brand.

ZeroFox is an established leader in proactively defending organizations from existing and emerging threats. Work with the ZeroFox team to learn what solutions are best suited to your business. Learn more about how ZeroFox external cybersecurity works by exploring a demo designed to help you understand how we integrate with your existing measures to provide complete and unrivaled protection. Get in touch with ZeroFox today.

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