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Spearphishing on the Rise in Office 365 Cloud Services

Don Wisdom

Don Wisdom About The Author

Phishing attacks in Microsoft Office 365 are on the rise and the malware is morphing into more sophisticated, dangerous and active documents that utilize content, media, and URL links to further weaponize files.

Here's How to Fight Back Against Phishing Office 365 Phishing Attacks

Currently, a popular attack vector is to send out a spoofed email from the IRS with an attached file named “taxletter.doc, (or something similar), and appeals to the recipient to respond immediately in order to prevent delinquent tax liabilities.

In this attack, the malicious attachment's payload is a password stealer. The malware launches Microsoft PowerShell, which works in the background as the recipient views the document. Tens of millions of people have been compromised by this new sophisticated attack, and the messages continue to evolve to avoid detection by unsuspected users.

The phishing trends in 2018 are shifting, notes Fleming Shi, Senior Vice President of Technology at Barracuda, from ransomware to stealing passwords as the most popular attack method. Usernames and passwords can give criminals access to multiple systems and across multiple platforms that a user connect to and passwords can also expose contact information that the compromised users possesses.

What can you do to fight back against these attacks:

Here are six key steps that EVERY COMPANY should be taking in order minimize this threat:

Step No. 1 – Implement a spear phishing detection software defense system.

Step No. 2Train employees with services that simulate email, SMS, voicemail and USB attacks to sharpen their awareness of the threats.

Step No.3 – Implement password standards that are in compliance with Microsoft security standards and schedule password rotations.

Step No. 4 – Conduct reviews twice a year that scan and report on your Microsoft Office 365 security settings to ensure that outsiders cannot gain easy access.

Step No. 5 – Utilizing Multi-factor authentication software in combination with password.

Step No. 6Implement regular Security Scans to discover and eliminate malware that may already exist on your network.

Of course, phishing is just one of the attack vectors that could affect your business. We've developed a concise security checklist to help you keep track of the measures you're taking to keeping your business and user data safe.

 Download it here.