New Report Highlights Changing Phishing Trends

Millions of phishing emails will get through automated defenses this year, are your employees ready?

An article review.

With cybersecurity threats such as cryptocurrency miners and ransomware seeming to dominate the news, it can be easy to forget about older threats such as phishing…but a recent report from cybersecurity firm Tessian reminds us that criminals certainly haven’t forgotten…and their focused attacks will get through automated phishing defenses millions of times this year.

According to the report authors the average employee receives about 14 malicious emails in a year, but employees in targeted fields such as retail or manufacturing could get nearly 50 as criminals try to go after industries that have been left short staffed during the pandemic.  In those phishing emails you’re likely to find spoofing–either the sender’s name, the domain name, or both may be faked to entice someone to click.  Of course a fake domain name may be easy to spot, which is why the majority of observed attacks occurred between 2pm and 6pm, when an employee may be tired and easier to distract.  One thing you won’t see much of anymore however are attachments: more than three quarters of the observed attacks didn’t include one, instead opting to deliver its payload via a malicious link…or by having an employee initiate a fraudulent wire transfer.

While some things may be changing, luckily the solution hasn’t: protection from phishing attacks requires a multi-layered approach, including a culture of cybersecurity where employees feel comfortable reporting mistakes and suspicious activity.  Employees also need training with recent, real-world examples of phishes so they can better understand what to look out for.  Finally there needs to be strong security controls in place throughout your organization in case a phishing attempt is successful, as no training or security software can protect against everything.

Original article by Josh Yavor writing for CPO Magazine.



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