Cyberattacks have become more sophisticated over the last few years. Truth be told, investing in digital assets has become a big industry. Nowadays, there is a lot more at stake as far as cybersecurity is concerned. That said, there are types of cyberattacks that have remained effective in wreaking havoc on individuals and businesses alike since their inception. One such attack that is regaining traction is the infamous Agent Tesla phishing email campaign. 

The Return of Agent Tesla 

Developed in 2014, the Agent Tesla campaign remains to be one of the most formidable and effective phishing email scams today. The main goal of this malicious software is to gain access to sensitive information on compromised Windows devices through a keylogger. Keyloggers allow scammers to see exactly what the victim is typing. This tool gives them access to usernames, passwords, and other important data. 

The latest version of the Agent Tesla campaign distributes the malware through a string of phishing emails. More often than not, these malicious emails masquerade as legitimate business messages that ask the receiver to download an official-looking document. This document contains a macro that, if executed, downloads the malware onto the device. Similar to the 2014 version of the malware, the latest Agent Tesla campaign alerts the scammer every 20 minutes for any new input. 

One of the most interesting things about the latest iteration of Agent Tesla is its ability to hijack any cryptocurrency or bitcoin wallet. The malware gives access to the scammer to retrieve log-in details. Once this information is acquired, the hacker can redirect any cryptocurrency inflow to their personal accounts. 

6 Best Practices in Avoiding Phishing Email Attacks

When it comes to phishing email attacks, Agent Tesla or otherwise, it is always to err on the side of safety. After all, there are several types of phishing risks. Each of them can impose a different slew of damages on your digital assets. 

Thankfully, there are ways to protect your company from falling victim to an Agent Tesla campaign or any other phishing email scam: 

Familiarize Yourself with Common Attacks

As they say, knowing the enemy is half the battle won. This statement is true when it comes to cybersecurity. Familiarizing yourself and your cybersecurity team with the latest threats is crucial to creating safeguards that minimize the chances of successful attacks. When it comes to a phishing email, there are several types that are considered more common:

  • Deception Phishing
  • Spear Phishing
  • CEO Fraud
  • Vishing
  • Smishing 
  • Pharming

Train Your Employees

When it comes to cybersecurity, your employees can be both assets and liabilities. On the one hand, not everyone is well-versed in cybersecurity threats. With phishing attacks getting more sophisticated every year, it can be challenging to identify malicious emails from legitimate ones. 

Nevertheless, your workers can also serve as your company’s first line of defense – that is if you provide them with ample training. Since not all of your employees are trained IT professionals, the training doesn’t have to be too technical. Simple guidelines like checking the sender’s email, approaching an IT personnel in instances of suspicious messages, or sending samples of common phishing email scams are already enough to arm them with information to prevent successful infiltrations. 

Opt for Real-Time Scanning 

The sooner a threat is identified, the less damage it can inflict on your network. This is why opting for real-time scanning software is a great choice for companies that own plenty of digital assets. There are a few scanning software available in the market today. It is all about choosing one that fits your company’s needs.

Create a Cybersecurity Policy

A cybersecurity policy is a set of rules and regulations developed to protect digital assets from external or internal threats. Cybersecurity policies can come in many forms especially depending on the type of company you run. Most small and medium businesses include guidelines on email encryption, remote use of official devices, password creation, and use of social media on their policies. 

In terms of phishing attacks, your cybersecurity policy should reiterate points discussed during employee cybersecurity training. It should present clear examples of these attacks as well as a step-by-step guide as to how to approach an IT personnel in cases of suspected threats. 

Include your Employees in Policy Creation

Most of the time, the staff beyond IT do not have any idea of the implications of cyberattacks on the company. Allowing them to participate in policy creation would make them feel more responsible for the health of the company. 

It is a good idea to establish a feedback loop between the IT department and end-users to reduce phishing incidents. A feedback loop entails experts identifying possible threats from the backend and informing possible victims, and, likewise, end-users informing experts on possible threats they come across. 

Develop a Response Process 

Unfortunately, despite your diligence, cyberattacks might still happen. One of the biggest mistakes most companies make is focusing too much on prevention and failing to develop a response process altogether. Your response plan should include actionable steps when faced with a verified phishing threat. Likewise, it should assign responsibility to various individuals and set a timeline for the entire course of action to trigger. 

One of the key points that you should take away from the return of Agent Tesla attacks is the fact that all types of cybersecurity threats should be taken seriously. Regardless of how sophisticated an attack, each and everyone can pose a degree of damage to your organization. As with most things, cybersecurity, in particular, prevention is better than cure. Training yourself and your employees about phishing email threats is crucial to minimizing the instances of a successful threat. 

We at SecureBrain are eager to help you in your goal of protecting your digital investments. Our tried-and-tested cybersecurity detection and management products are a great complement to your security protocol. When it comes to your assets, a second layer of protection is necessary. Attacks do not wait, you shouldn’t either. Reach out to us today to learn more about what we have to offer.