Phishing is a social engineering attack that uses email to obtain sensitive information, such as login credentials and payment details, from users. It’s when someone pretends to be a trusted source, like your bank or a friend, to get you to click on a link or download a spam file sent over email, text messages, phone calls or social media. Phishing is a constant security threat to every organization, and today we visit four reasons phishing is getting more frequent.
Phishing is one of the most significant concerns in today’s digital landscape, as it is responsible for more than 20% of data breaches. While individuals are affected by fraudulent purchases, financial fraud or identity theft, a company that is the victim of a phishing attack, in most cases, suffers severe financial losses as well as potential loss of market share, reputation and stakeholder trust.
Why are Phishing Attacks Becoming More Frequent?
- Remote/hybrid workforce. A significant number of organizations have transitioned to remote/hybrid work models. While the switch allows the flexibility of working from home, the scattered workforce and mobile endpoints continue to be a security challenge. When working on home/remote networks, vulnerabilities are more visible to hackers, who quickly exploit them through phishing attacks.
- Organizational Oversights. Many organizations, in efforts to stay afloat amid the pandemic, completely disregarded cybersecurity. This included decreased spending on security, little-to-no employee security training, and much more. Such mistakes opened the door for cybercriminals.
- Constantly Evolving Security Threats. Hackers constantly strive to uncover and exploit even the tiniest flaws in your security plans. They’re constantly shifting their strategy, so you’re defending against a moving attacker.
- Cheap Phishing Tools. Several low-cost phishing tools are available on the dark web, allowing even non-technical people to become hackers.
How can Businesses Stay Safe from Phishing?
- Train your employees by regularly facilitating end-user security training. This ensures your staff is aware of the email phishing threat and know what to do when faced with a suspicious email.
- Ensure that your IT infrastructure is up to date with the latest security patches to ensure bad actors cannot exploit unpatched systems.
- Enforce strong password policies and create a system that prohibits staff from evading them. Wherever multi-factor authentication (MFA) is supported, enable it (especially for Office 365).
- If you have larger infrastructure, try to isolate critical network components from end-user devices as much as possible. By segmenting a network, you can limit the damage a breach can have on your organization.
- Conduct periodic phishing testing of your end-users to ensure they are following your anti-phishing guidelines.
- Deploy an automated phishing detection system that is powered by artificial intelligence.
If you’re running a business, you know that phishing is a big problem. But trying to guard against phishing on your own takes a lot of effort and resources, especially if you’re already spread thin.
We hope the safety checklist and four reasons phishing is getting more frequent helps you further understand what you are up against and defend your organization against these security threats.
What projects are you working on? Are you struggling with defending against phishing attempts? As always, we’re here to help.