Phishing Attack Trends to Keep Your Eyes Open For in 2022

Stay on top of the newest phishing trends so you can prepare your team.

 

phishing scamsIn 2020, 75% of companies worldwide experienced a phishing attack. Phishing remains one of the biggest dangers to your business’s health and wellbeing because it’s the main delivery method for many types of cyberattacks.

One phishing email can be responsible for a company succumbing to ransomware and facing costly downtime. It can also lead a user to unknowingly hand over the credentials to a company email account that the hacker then uses to send targeted attacks to customers.

Phishing takes advantage of human error, and some phishing emails use sophisticated tactics to fool the recipient into divulging information or infecting a network with malware.

 

Mobile phishing threats skyrocketed by 161% in 2021.

Your best safeguards against the continuous onslaught of phishing include:

  • Email filtering
  • DNS filtering
  • Next-gen antivirus/anti-malware
  • Ongoing employee cybersecurity awareness training

To properly train your employees and ensure your IT security is prepared to meet the newest threats, you need to know what new dangers to keep your eyes open for.

 

Here are some of the latest trends you need to watch in 2022!

PHISHING IS INCREASINGLY BEING SENT VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Fewer people are suspicious of text messages than they are of unexpected email messages. Most phishing training is usually focused on the email form of phishing because it’s always been the most prevalent. But cybercrime entities are now taking advantage of the easy availability of mobile phone numbers and using text messaging to deploy phishing attacks. This type of phishing (called “smishing”) is growing in volume. People are receiving more text messages now than they did in the past, mainly due to retailers and service businesses pushing their text updates for sales and delivery notices. This makes it even easier for phishing via SMS to fake a shipment notice and gets a user to click on a shortened URL.

 

BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE IS ON THE RISE

Ransomware has been a growing threat over the last few years largely because it’s been a big money-maker for the criminal groups that launch cyberattacks. A new up-and-coming form of attack is beginning to be quite lucrative and thus is also growing.

infected network email phishingBusiness email compromise (BEC) is on the rise and being exploited by attackers to make money off things like gift card scams and fake wire transfer requests. What makes BEC so dangerous (and lucrative) is that when a criminal gains access to a business email account, they can send convincing phishing messages to employees, customers, and vendors of that company. The recipients will immediately trust the familiar email address, making these emails potent weapons for cybercriminals.

 

SMALL BUSINESSES ARE BEING TARGETED MORE FREQUENTLY WITH SPEAR PHISHING

There is no such thing as being too small to be attacked by a hacker. Small businesses are targeted frequently in cyberattacks because they tend to have less IT security than larger companies. 43% of all data breaches target small and mid-sized companies, and 40% of small businesses that become victims of an attack experience at least eight hours of downtime as a result.

Spear phishing is a more dangerous form because it’s targeted and not generic. It’s the type deployed in an attack using BEC. It used to be that spear-phishing was used for larger companies because it takes more time to set up a targeted and tailored attack. However, as large criminal groups and state-sponsored hackers make their attacks more efficient, they can more easily target anyone. As a result, small businesses receive more tailored phishing attacks that are harder for their users to identify as scams.

 

BUSINESS IMPERSONATION IS BEING USED MORE OFTEN

As users have gotten savvier about being careful of emails from unknown senders, phishing attackers have increasingly used business impersonation or CEO fraud. This is where a phishing email will look like a legitimate email from a company the user may know or even do business with.

Amazon is a common target of business impersonation, but it also happens with smaller companies as well. For example, there have been instances where website hosting companies have had client lists breached and those companies sent emails impersonating the hosting company and asking the users to log in to an account to fix an urgent problem. More business impersonation being used in phishing attacks mean users have to be suspicious of all emails, not just those from unknown senders.

 

IS YOUR COMPANY ADEQUATELY PROTECTED?

Using a multi-layered strategy is important when defending against one of the biggest dangers to your business’s wellbeing. Get started with a cybersecurity audit to review your current security posture and identify ways to improve. Reach out to our MSP Support Team for more information today!

 

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.