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Phishing Attacks Are Getting Personal

September 6, 2018 Leave a comment DRI Admin

It’s time to take the X-Files’ advice and Trust No One: a recent study says phishing attacks impersonating familiar contacts have risen by a whopping 80%!

In a study of 142 million emails handled by email security systems, 19 million pieces of spam, 13,176 emails with dangerous file types, and 14,656 malware attachments slipped through – a ratio of about 1 in every 50 emails inspected.

Impersonation attacks – targeted malware and heavily socially-engineered phishing threats designed to look like familiar emails – saw an 80% increase compared to the previous report, with 41,605 caught. Because of the specificity, standard security systems aren’t equipped to catch them.

Phishing attacks need to be taken seriously, since the cost can be high. For instance, in Sept. 2017, Augusta University Health System was plagued with a series of data breaches that ultimately exposed 417,000 individuals’ information.

How can organizations better detect these tailor-made attacks and protect themselves from a breach? Recommendations include:

  • Conduct an audit of current security and compliance
  • Establish detailed policies, and
  • Provide security training for employees so they can learn how to spot and avoid phishing emails.