How Phishing Attacks Have Evolved in 2021

The fact that phishing attacks have been happening for so long might make you think that they are a lot less effective than they used to be. After all, any type of crime that gets committed becomes less of an issue once the authorities figure out the right way to end up dealing with it, right? In reality, the opposite is true. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that phishing attacks are ever changing which is a really big part of what makes them such a huge problem even to this day.

Sophos has released a report that involved consulting with around 5,400 professionals that are working in the field of IT (information technology). The first thing that you would realize after you have read this report is that there is a wide disparity among what phishing should actually be defined as with all things having been considered and taken into account. However, there is a common thread among various definitions, and they basically involve an email that attempts to steal any kind of data from you.

Business Email Compromise is a really common form of phishing, and 46% of respondents agreed that the term phishing is appropriate for that type of activity. What’s more is that the frequency with which these attacks are conducted is increasing by a large margin. Government agencies saw a 77% increase in phishing related attacks over the last year alone, with professional services seeing a 76% rise and, perhaps most concerning of all, the healthcare sector saw a 73% increase in the frequency with which attacks ended up occurring as well.

What all of this means is that there is pretty much no sector or industry in the world that is truly safe from the various phishing attacks that might occur on a more or less regular basis. The problem here is that most organizations don’t see phishing as a major threat. This needs to change because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making it really difficult for organizations to deal with phishing attacks as and when they occur.

For one thing, phishing does not happen in a vacuum. Quite on the contrary, it is something that can cause a lot of problems from a long term perspective due to the reason that it is often the first stage in a drawn out attack that has a lot more plans for the future. One example that was given in the report showed how a seemingly minor phishing attack that should have been easily spotted and was fixed pretty quickly resulted in a massive ransomware attack a few months down the line that ended up costing the company 2.5 million dollars.

Hence, companies should start to educate their employees about the dangers of phishing. What’s more is that they should ideally look into training their employees about how to detect emails that are phishing attempts, as well as building a much more robust security infrastructure. The financial losses that occur due to phishing attacks are a lot higher than you might initially have thought which is why the industry is suffering so much these days.

Read next: A Recent Study Reveals That Phishing Websites Increased In Amount Across 2020
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