Cyber Awareness

Why Phishing is Still the Most Common and Successful Type of Cyber Attack

Why Phishing is Still the Most Common and Successful Type of Cyber Attack

In part 1 of our “Phishing Simulation: Learn The Basics” series, you’ve reviewed the basics of phishing attacks. Now that you’re familiar with what phishing is, its definition, and the main types of targets and attacks, it’s time to move to part 2.

Understanding what phishing is and the importance of how to run phishing simulations in a more strategic way will help you condition your employees to be less vulnerable to real attacks.

Why is Phishing Still the Most Common and Successful Type of Cyber Attack?

You can find step-by-step descriptions of ‘How Phishing Attacks Work’ everywhere on the internet, but we want to provoke you by asking ‘Why does it Work?’ instead.

High-level and sophisticated technologies emerged in the last few years to fight breaches and attacks – cloud security, container security, identity management, and others, only to mention a few.

But despite these very targeted defense methods, why is Phishing still the most common and successful type of attack?

Easy answer: because it works. And the more you prepare your employees to prevent and identify frauds, the more established the cyberculture will be within your company. A paper from Carbonite points out:

Phishing scams are on the rise, and individuals who are familiar with trends, who are consistently trained via simulations, and supported in their pursuit of a better work-life balance will be the best defense against advancing and highly personalized phishing scams.

Who Is Responsible For Avoiding Phishing Attacks?

Repeat with us: if everyone in my company is a target, everyone should be prepared! At this point, you might have noticed that we insist on the idea that creating a people-centric cybersecurity culture is the best approach to companies, it doesn’t matter what industry.

The best phishing prevention best practices relate to employee awareness and training programs for a reason, and it’s directly connected to phishing simulation activities. If you, as an example, run a specific phishing simulation email campaign for your marketing team using a template that is credible and related to the tools they use, you will have the opportunity to perform a more driven and specific analysis of what their behavior is. Keep in mind that everyone in your organization that holds confidential information is a target of cyberattacks.

What Kind of Damage can a Phishing Attack Cause?

Think as reputational damage is a start point. 22% of organizations compromised by phishing attacks lost customers in the immediate aftermath, according to research by CISCO in 2018. Businesses are especially prone to the negative publicity of successful phishing attacks because it sends the message that potential clients should not trust them with valuable information.

Cybercriminals responsible for phishing attacks may not always try to lure you into giving up your company’s financial details. What they find more valuable than money is data, and once they get their hands on yours, the repercussions may send your company’s reputation – and eventually your stock prices – into a nosedive. Even the process of recruiting new team members can be affected by reputation damage caused by a cyber attack.

Another important damage relates to regulatory fines. The data protection regulations that emerged after GDPR set a high cost on data breach incidents. Failure to comply with regulations such as HIPAA, PDPA, and CCPA can cost organizations up to millions of dollars.

This list from CSO Online reports the biggest data breach fines and penalties applied to companies, such as Equifax’s agreement to pay $575 million in consequence of a breach incident in 2017.

The impact caused by a phishing attack can cumulate endless losses, and appearing on the news as the most recent company attacked is the biggest nightmare to any business in our digital reality.

Access the third and last post of our series to learn how phishing simulations can help you monitor, measure, and mitigate human error risks.

Fight Off Phishing With the Right Help

Right-Hand’s Phishing Readiness product can help you condition employees to become less susceptible to malicious phishing emails, by creating and launching custom phishing simulations. Schedule a personalized demo to see our product in action.

Start building cyber culture today!

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