The latest phishing stats tell the story: Phishing is the most prevalent form of cyberattack causing data breaches for both individuals and organizations. While phishing can come in many forms such as text messaging, social media or by phone, the most common attacks arrive by email. These phishing emails reach millions of users directly, hiding among the numerous messages in our inboxes, just waiting to be clicked on. They have the potential to spread malware that can sabotage systems and steal valuable data.
As time goes on, bad actors are continuously finding new, creative and sophisticated forms of phishing attacks in order to successfully get their hands on confidential and personal data. These types of attacks are making headlines in the news and creating financial hardships for organizations globally. Unfortunately, however, there is little being done to educate and create awareness as to how you can avoid being a victim of targeted attacks.
In a world where we are consumed by and depend on technology to store, share and collect information, phishing attacks are ultimately an invasion of privacy. Steps should be taken to protect the sensitive information that can be used to harm us on a personal and corporate level.
Consider these recent phishing statistics and how they might apply to your organization:
#1 - 83% of organizations globally experienced phishing attacks within the last year
With such a hard hit to corporations, where damage and repair can cost millions of dollars, taking the time to educate staff on the importance of protecting sensitive data is paramount.
#2 - Phishing is the third most common type of scam reported to the FBI
Phishing threats have gained such prevalence in the media, so it’s not surprising that this type of cyberattack is on the rise. Spear phishing emails targeting personal data are definitely something to watch out for – your identity, money and business are on the line.
#3 - 97% of people cannot identify a phishing scam
This phishing statistic says it all – the need for awareness and education is greater than ever. While there is no foolproof way to avoid phishing attacks, they can certainly be mitigated by knowing what to look for!
#4 - 93% of social attacks are phishing related
Nearly 82% of Americans have a social media profile – an attractive target for cyber criminals. Be wary of messages coming from “friends” or “followers” on social media. It could be a bad actor trying to get you to click or give certain information over this platform.
#5 - 66% of malware is installed via malicious email attachments
Always make sure your emails are coming from a trusted source. Our first inclination is to click on attachments or links in our personal or business emails. We are too trusting of filters for spam/junk mail. However, scammers have found ways to bypass these filters, so it is extremely important to be on the lookout, especially if any email has an urgent tone.