An estimated 91 percent of cyberattacks begin with a phishing or spear-phishing email. Per numerous confirmed reports, spear phishing has been associated with most of the largest cyberattacks in recent history including the widely publicized attacks on JPMorgan Chase & Co., eBay, Target, Anthem, Sony and various departments within the U.S. government.
Phishing attacks are so successful because they prey on curiosity and employees click on them at an alarming rate, even when emails are obviously suspicious.
In response to this constantly expanding threat, the HITS Information Security Team is in the process of implementing additional email protection capabilities. Effective Friday, July 14th, the following will be in place:
- Safe Links: Protects against phishing sites hosting malicious content. The original links in email are rewritten and checked against a list of known malicious links when user clicks on link in email. Users receive notification that link is malicious if clicked.
- Safe Attachments: Protects against zero-day exploits in email attachments. The original message is delivered without an attachment. Attachments are detonated, scanned in sandbox and reattached to original email (within seconds) without any action from the end user. Users will receive a notice indicating that attachments are being scanned with a progress indicator.
Users are encouraged to remain vigilant and report suspicious email and activity.
For issues concerning cybersecurity, contact:
- Phone: 832-393-9800
- E-mail: HITSCustomerServiceCenter@houstontx.gov