What is Email Spoofing? And How Does It Harm Small Businesses?
Low-effort phishing emails are often easy to detect without much cybersecurity training but spoofing improves the quality of an attack so that it will often fool even a discerning eye. An attack will use spoofing to pose as a trusted source the victim won’t think too much about. So long as the user doesn’t take the time to inspect the email closely, the hacker will successfully steal credentials or other information when links or attachments in the email are clicked on. Properly identifying attacks that use spoofing requires constant vigilance, so we want to talk about the best practices for understanding and identifying spoofing as it’s used in cyberattacks!
What is Email Spoofing?
Spoofing in its simplest form is the act of mimicking a trustworthy source by using the logos, language, banners, and other motifs associated with a brand or service to make users think a malicious email is legitimate. An attacker can make email accounts that are incredibly close to their target’s address, often being off by only a single letter. Many attackers will spend a lot of resources making sure their malicious email resembles a Microsoft password reset down to the correct sizing for buttons and banners just to appear more authentic. Usually, these specially crafted emails will be used for spear phishing attacks or other attacks with high value targets.
How is Spoofing Used in Attacks?
Malicious actors will use spoofing most often to impersonate a brand like Microsoft, Apple, Google, or other popular service that people usually get password reset requests and downloadable files from. However, hackers that have a particular target in mind can attempt to impersonate a specific individual to try to get around spam filters or appear more trustworthy to their target. Email spoofing is one of the most common forms of spoofing attacks, and small businesses can’t just rely on identifying phishing emails via poor grammar or other obvious giveaways. Email spoofing is highly effective because someone may not be on guard the moment they see a familiar logo.
To combat phishing campaigns and other cyberattacks that use email spoofing, small businesses can implement strong email filters and endpoint protection that can help detect malicious content before it makes it to an employee’s inbox. Additionally, every employee should be trained to identify suspicious activity, such as password reset requests coming at an odd time or when they have not been requested. By working with your IT department or a trusted IT consultant, a small business should implement targeted training that helps your employees be more vigilant with the emails that they receive because ultimately, a good use of email spoofing just needs one employee to not pay attention when they check their email.
Email spoofing is a prime example of how hackers will craft their attacks to be as convincing as possible, and our team here at Robinett Consulting believe that small businesses deserve every advantage they can get to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. If you think your business needs help implementing insightful training or running actionable phishing simulations that help better prepare your employees for real threats, then we’re waiting to hear from you today!
Complimentary 30 Minute Consultation
Book your complimentary consultation with one of our team members to see how we can meet your needs in equipment, security, software, and staff.