Now that Generative AI (e.g. ChatGPT) is here, phishing attacks may increase both in number and sophistication. How do businesses protect themselves? Awareness is a good first step, but gathering data using a security information and event management system (SIEM) is even better. Read on to learn how SIEM along with education and awareness training can reinforce your company’s efforts to prevent phishing attacks and resulting malware.


What is SIEM?


Security information and event management (SIEM) combines two separate systems to not only gather information but develop rules to help analysts understand what occurs in your company’s network. Security information management involves the gathering, monitoring and analysis of security-related information across different computer logs–including email applications. 


Security event management is involved in helping respond to incidents. SIEM brings the two functions together – the strong log-keeping functions of SIM with the response capabilities of SEM. The information is put together in a standard format, then aggregated and analyzed, helping IT professionals prioritize their threat response. Since SIEM can be outsourced to managed service providers (MSPs), it is possible for small to medium-sized businesses to afford it and not have to hire extra staff.


SIEM and Phishing Attacks


The security operations center of an average organization can receive tens of thousands of threats, and some can receive ten times more. What’s a small or medium-sized business to do? How do they know they are victims of a ransomware attack until the damage is already done? Security information and event management has the capacity to gather and analyze information about user authentication attempts, separating normal logins from malicious attempts. When unusual login activity is detected, an event is created when it happens.  The SIEM software can then lock out the suspicious user while doing the investigation. While SIEM can show IT teams what’s happening throughout the network, everyone still needs to be aware of phishing emails and what they look like, and trained to act.


Train Your Workers, Too


Humans are thought of as  the weak spot in protecting against cyber attacks, including phishing emails. But what if, combined with SIEM, they are a strong defense against malware and other dangerous network intrusions? Whether phishing attempts using ChatGPT as the hook will become so sophisticated as to hide normal clues to phishing emails is not yet known. Clues like spelling errors and poor grammar are signs that the email is not from a legitimate sender. Educating workers to look for more information without clicking on malicious links and attachments, can help them identify a phishing email.


Technological tools like SIEM can combine with staff training to provide a strong defense against hazards from phishing emails. For further assistance, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

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