3 Bulletproof Ways to Avoid Being a Phishing Victim

3 Bulletproof Ways to Avoid Being a Phishing Victim

While hackers are getting smarter and more complex, it’s vitally important to set the groundwork to avoid being a phishing victim. Here are three bulletproof ways to avoid being a phishing victim.


We’ve talked about it before and it remains true. Phishing is the #1 threat to your users regarding the protection of your organization’s data.

According to a recent study, Google researchers identified 788,000 potential victims of off-the-shelf keyloggers; 12.4 million potential victims of phishing kits; and 1.9 billion usernames and passwords exposed via data breaches and traded on black market forums. Using this dataset, they explored to what degree the stolen passwords—which originate from thousands of online services—enable an attacker to obtain a victim’s valid email credentials—and thus complete control of their online identity due to transitive trust.

Google’s analysis showed that only less than 7 percent of the passwords exposed in third-party data breaches were valid due to password reuse. Furthermore, the company’s data suggests that credential leaks are less likely to result in account takeover due to a decrease in password reuse rates.

Phishing: The #1 threat to your users

On the other hand, nearly a quarter of the passwords stolen via phishing attacks were valid, and Google believes phishing victims are 460 times more likely to have their accounts hacked compared to random users. As for keyloggers, nearly 12 percent of the compromised passwords were valid, and falling victim to such malware increases the chances of account takeovers 38 times.

How Can Organizations Help Their Users Avoid Becoming Phishing Victims?

As an organization, there are many tools and services available to help detect and remediate any cyber threats that enter your network. Cybriant has put the basic services together in one all-in-one service called CybriantXDR. It’s a comprehensive threat detection and remediation service that gives your greater visibility across your organization. Find out more here: https://cybriant.com/cybriant-xdr/.

While your organization should do everything possible to prevent data breaches, there are several ways to help your users. Here are three bulletproof ways to help your users avoid being phishing victims.

1. Zero Trust Mind Set

When you receive an unexpected email, train your employees to apply a zero-trust mindset. That means do not click on any links, no matter what. Hover over the links and confirm where it is going. Look at the sender, this is an easy way to confirm that is coming from the right person and not an alias.

If they are still unsure, be sure to have a process in place so employees can send it to your IT team so the email can be confirmed.

Cybriant’s CTO recently wrote about the anatomy of a phishing email – see that explanation here.

Andrew was able to examine the email and explore the URL in a sandbox so no harm was done. It was a very authentic-looking email that made it past several of the tools he had in place to block phishing emails as well. Luckily, he was able to avoid becoming a phishing victim and help others learn how to do the same.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication

While this is highly recommended for remote workers, MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) is important no matter where you work.

Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of protection to your IT security environment on top of a strong password policy. With multi-factor authentication, employees can only gain access to systems if they give two or more pieces of identification while signing in. The most practical use of multi-factor authentication is to require a standard username and password combination in addition to a dynamic one-time passcode that only remains valid for one login session.

3. Protect All Endpoints

While all company-owned devices like laptops and cell phones should have the highest level of protection that has been specified by your organization-wide security strategy, many employees are accessing company data through personally-owned devices.

These personally-owned devices should be protected by antivirus or something similar. At Cybriant, we let everyone know that certain cyber threats can make it through traditional antivirus. It may be necessary to block access to company data on personal devices and only allow protected devices to be able to connect to certain applications.

Here are some of the threats that can make it through traditional antivirus:

Advanced Threats. Legacy antivirus depends on prior knowledge to detect threats. Adversaries have access to nation-grade hacking tools which means that new threats are detected daily. AI- and computer learning give us the ability to detect and validate suspicious activity.

Polymorphic Malware. Attackers can easily defeat signature-based antivirus tools that rely on checking a file’s hash against a known hash database.

Malicious Documents. Sometimes a maliciously formatted document is used to exploit vulnerabilities in the opening application to achieve code execution, and legacy AV cannot detect such by reputation.

Fileless Malware. Attackers have realized that traditional AV solutions have a gaping blindspot: malicious processes can be executed in memory without dropping telltale files for AV scanners to find.

Encrypted Traffic. Malicious actors can hide their activities from inspection by ensuring that traffic between the victim and attackers’ command-and-control (C2) server is protected by end-to-end encryption.

Cybriant MDR

Our team of security experts will help stop advanced threats at the endpoint with Cybriant MDR. We utilize AI-based next-gen antivirus that will help you:

PREVENT: Our expert security analysts monitor and record all the events that occur on your endpoints. Our team focuses on relevant threats that attempt data exfiltration or modification.​ When files attempt to execute these suspicious processes an alert is triggered and the attack is halted in real-time.​

​DETECT: When a credible threat is detected, our system will retrieve the process history and our team will analyze the chain of events in real-time and determine the validity of the threat.​ You’ll receive the alerts when threats are detected along with advice and insight from our cybersecurity team to help you mitigate and respond to the threat.​

​REMEDIATE: Once identified, the malicious activity is immediately stopped in its tracks, and our team guides you through the remediation. This remediation process provides astonishing insight into the data of the threat.​ You’ll be able to help your organization reduce their attack surface by learning how you’ve been compromised.​

Consider Cybriant MDR to help you detect threats that antivirus will certainly miss. Learn more here: cybriant.com/mdr.

What is Smishing? How This Emerging Threat Puts Your Endpoints at Risk.

What is Smishing? How This Emerging Threat Puts Your Endpoints at Risk.

Smishing is the most recent emerging threat that could put your endpoints and your data at risk. Consider the following smishing guide and how your organization can prevent this threat.

If you spend any time online, you have probably heard of phishing, the widespread dissemination of deceptive emails designed to steal login credentials, compromise personal information, and facilitate the crime of identity theft.

And if you are in a position of power, you may be familiar with the dangers of spearphishing, a highly targeted attack aimed at executives and other decision-makers.

Both phishing and spearphishing are real cybersecurity threats, but what about smishing? Read on to learn about the risks of smishing, and how this emerging threat could compromise the private data on your smartphone and other mobile devices.

Related: Here’s How Hackers Steal Passwords

What is Smishing?

The “SM” in smishing is short for SMS, a protocol used by smartphones and mobile devices to send and receive text messages. If you have ever sent a text message or clicked on one in your inbox, you need to know about what smishing is, how it works, and most importantly how you can protect yourself and your devices.

In IT speak, SMS is shorthand for short message service, and that is exactly what it is all about. Smishing scams hijack the SMS service on your mobile devices, creating fraudulent messages designed to compromise your security, steal your personal information, and put the data on your smartphone at risk.

In many ways, smishing is just another form of phishing, and the tactics used will look all too familiar. The typical smishing message will masquerade as an important notice from your bank, often using frightening or misleading headlines to get you to click on the link.

The smishing message may contain an embedded link, a return telephone number, or both. If you click on the link or call the contact number, you will likely become a victim.

Smishing scams have already been used to steal cash from bank accounts via cardless ATM transactions and rack up credit card purchases through compromised accounts. Since financial accounts are frequent targets of smishing attacks, consumers should be extra vigilant about messages originating from banks, credit card issuers, mutual fund companies, and brokerage firms.

How to Avoid Smishing Scams

There are a number of steps smartphone users can take to protect themselves from the growing threat of smishing. This emerging form of cybercrime is not going away; if anything, it is getting worse with every passing year. In the meantime, here are some simple things you can do to protect yourself, your data and your devices.

  • Never click links in unsolicited text messages, especially ones claiming to be from banks and other financial institutions.
  • Never respond to an unsolicited text message, not even to stop further messages from showing up. Some scam artists embed malware into the STOP link in their messages.
  • Keep your device up to date by downloading and installing all recommended security updates.
  • Download and use an antivirus or antimalware app on all your devices, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi, and never conduct sensitive business while connected to a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Delete any suspicious texts immediately and practice good text message hygiene.
  • Follow up – to validate text messages you think may be genuine. If you get a text message from your bank, call the bank directly to verify its authenticity.

Smishing scams hijack the SMS service on your mobile devices, creating fraudulent messages designed to compromise your security, steal your personal information and put the data on your smartphone at risk.

What is Smishing?

How to Avoid Smishing Scams

If you think you have already been victimized by a smishing attack, you should contact local law enforcement right away. Law enforcement agencies are familiar with the risk of cybercrime, and they can help guide you through the reporting and recovery process. edr

Prevention is always the best defense when it comes to cybercrime, but if you do become a victim there are additional steps you can take to recover and further protect your devices. If your smartphone or tablet has been compromised, you may need to do a factory reset to cleanse the infection and make the device safe to use. You can try running a malware and virus scan first, but if the device remains infected, a full factory reset may be the safest course of action.

You should also monitor your bank accounts, brokerage statements and credit card transactions carefully in the wake of a successful smishing attack. Once an attacker gains control of your smartphone or another mobile device, it can be hard to tell exactly what information they were able to gather. Exercising due diligence now is the best way to prevent further damage to your finances.

Read more – The Financial Industry’s Biggest Threat

Smishing is a growing threat to your cybersecurity, and knowledge is the best defense. The more you know about how smishing schemes operate, what they look like and how to respond, the easier it will be to protect yourself and your mobile devices.

Enterprise Protection from Smishing Attacks

With the emergence of BYOD, Endpoint security is of vital importance. When a new threat like smishing emerges, it’s important that your employees are educated and that you have a way to protect your data. To protect all your endpoints, consider Cybriant’s MDR service.


When a credible threat is detected, our system will retrieve the process history and our team will analyze the chain of events in real-time and determine the validity of the threat. You’ll receive the alerts when threats are detected along with advice and insight from our cybersecurity team to help you mitigate and respond to the threat.

Once identified, the malicious activity is immediately stopped in its tracks and our team guides you through the remediation. This remediation process provides astonishing insight into the data of the threat. You’ll be able to help your organization reduce their attack surface by learning how you’ve been compromised.

If you are looking for an easy solution to protect your organization’s data efficiently, check out our Managed Detection and Remediation service. 

Protect Your Endpoints with MDR

Here’s How Hackers Steal Passwords

Here’s How Hackers Steal Passwords

Have you ever thought about how hackers manage to steal passwords for financial accounts? It’s unfortunate that we make it easy for them by using weak passwords that are simple to crack. By exploiting vulnerable account passwords, hackers can access our most sensitive data and use it for illegal activities like identity theft, blackmail, extortion, and more.

The theft of a user’s password can be more damaging than the theft of personally identifiable information (PII) because it gives access to the user’s online accounts. Cybercriminals often use email to deceive users into revealing their passwords and information about other accounts. If an email password is stolen, it can result in more instances of fraud, phishing attacks, data interception, and identity theft., data interception, and identity theft.

scam, hacker, security

Here’s how Hackers Steal Your Passwords

According to recent studies on data breach and identity theft, various small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) still believe that they are saved from hackers stealing user passwords anyway. Many believe their businesses don’t have as much precious data as larger companies and hackers won’t attack them to steal personal data.

There are many other methods of password-stealing methods that hackers use to steal credentials from. If you are wondering how hackers are stealing my password, the following are the ways hackers steal passwords from an individual to an organization of all sizes.


Another common password-cracking method is to use a keylogger. This is a piece of software that records everything that is typed on the keyboard. The hacker can then use this information to try and guess the victim’s password. There are also many ways to guess passwords, such as using common words or phrases, trying easily guessed numbers (such as 123456), or using publicly available information about the victim (such as their birth date).

Purchase Passwords from Other Hackers:

Hackers can mine stolen credentials and also buy lists of stolen passwords from other hackers via the dark web. These lists often contain millions of passwords, making it very likely that at least some of them will work. Consequently, it is important to choose a strong password, and unique passwords for all of your online accounts.

security, technology, risk management

Using Default Passwords:

Many devices come with default passwords that are easy methods hackers to guess. Hackers can use these common passwords to gain access to devices and then look for ways to steal passwords from the people who use them.

Stealing Passwords from Public Wi-Fi Networks:

If you use a public Wi-Fi network, your password may be intercepted by someone else on the network. This is because the information sent over Wi-Fi networks is not encrypted, so it can be easily accessed by anyone who is on the same network.

Data Breaches:

Data breaches occur when hackers gain unauthorized access to a system, often through an exploit or by exploiting weak security measures. Once they have gained access to the system, they can extract sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. This type of attack is becoming increasingly common, as organizations fail to secure their systems adequately. Consider Managed Services to help your organization protect against data breaches and other cyber threats. Managed Services can help by monitoring for suspicious activity, deploying security patches, and responding quickly to any issues that arise. With the right managed services provider, you can rest assured that your systems are secure against even the most sophisticated attacks.

hacking, cyber, blackandwhite

Using Malware:

Malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to damage or disable computers. Some types of malware can steal passwords by recording what is typed on the keyboard. Other types of malware can take screenshots of what is displayed on the screen, including login details or other sensitive information.

Brute Force Attacks:

During a brute force attack, hackers relentlessly attempt every possible password combination to obtain system access. This method is laborious and time-consuming but can be effective, especially against weak passwords. Hackers use powerful computers to speed up the process, sometimes making millions of attempts per second. In some cases, they might use dictionaries of commonly used passwords or simple variants, thereby increasing the odds of success. This underscores the significance of using strong, complex, and unique passwords that are resistant to brute-force attacks.

Social Engineering:

Social engineering is a type of attack that relies on tricking people into giving away confidential information or their passwords. Hackers will often call or email people pretending to be from a legitimate company, and then ask the person for their login details. They may also try to trick people into using compromised passwords or clicking on malicious links that install malware on their computers.

There are many ways that hackers can get your password. The best way to protect yourself is to choose strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts and to never reuse passwords across multiple accounts. You should also enable two-factor authentication for your bank account whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to your phone when you try to log in.

Brute force attack:

A brute force attack is a type of dictionary attack, that tries to guess the password by trying hundreds or even thousands of different combinations. This can be very time-consuming, but if the hacker has access to a powerful computer, they can try millions of different passwords in a very short period. Brute force dictionary attacks are trial and error sessions done various times per minute using a specific program and your private information or words that may be valuable to you.

It’s not all random words special characters or information. Some extra advanced brute force hacking codes and programs use further targeted words that are possible to be used as passwords. These words are prioritized to make strong passwords with a greater possibility of matching.


This password-stealing technique gathers information from company sites or social media websites like Instagram or Twitter to come up with word lists and strong passwords, which are then used to conduct brute force and dictionary attacks on the users.

Rainbow table attacks:

Though it sounds like a board game, this kind of dictionary attack only deals with hashes i.e., the encrypted values of passwords. The rainbow table includes pre-computed hashes of password parts that, when rightly joined, provide the full hash of the target’s real password. While the more professional approach to this attack could produce quicker results, it could also make complex passwords take up a lot of computing power to operate.


Phishing is one of the most common and regularly used password hacks. A hacker will send an email that carries a link that, once clicked, guides to a spoofed website that encourages the person to give their password or other information. In other scenarios, the hacker or malicious link tries to trick the user into downloading a malicious program that skims for the user’s password.

Phishing is a method that hackers use to trick someone into giving away their password. Hackers will often send an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate website or company, asking the user to enter their login details. Once the hacker has this information, they can use it to gain access to the victim’s account.

Social engineering:

According to Hacker’s point of view, if all else fails, use the simplest trick in the book and do it the traditional way. Social engineering is the use of psychological manipulation to gain the trust of an unwitting user. For example, a hacker could drop a harmless thumb drive in an office. Shortly as a victim installs it (normally to obtain information that can help recognize and find its owner), the device will load malware onto the system to steal passwords.

mobile phone, smartphone, keyboard

How can I tell if my Facebook account has been hacked?

Hackers have discovered the find my bid.in, password manager, hack to steal social media passwords. You may start receiving notices that a new account has been set up that is identical to yours and is sending out friend requests to your list of contacts. If you get a notification that someone has tried to log in to your account from an unrecognized device or location, this is also a sign that your account has been hacked. To check if your Facebook password has been compromised, you can use the Have I Been Pwned website. This website keeps track of passwords that have been leaked online and will tell you if your password is one of them.

If you think your account has been hacked, you should change your password immediately and enable two-factor authentication. You should also review your friends list to see if any suspicious accounts have been added. If you find any, you should report them to Facebook.

What should I do if my email account has been hacked?


If your email account has been hacked, the first thing you should do is change your password. You should also enable two-factor authentication if it is available. You should then check your email settings to see if anything has been changed, such as the forwarding address. If you find any suspicious activity, you should report it to your email provider.

You should also check your inbox and send messages for any unusual activity. Hackers often use hacked email accounts to send spam or other phishing attacks or emails to the contacts in the hacker access address book. If you find any suspicious emails, you should delete them and report them as spam.

It is also a good idea to run a virus scan on your computer, in case the hacker installed any malware. You should also change the passwords for bank accounts and for any other online accounts with the same default password anyway.

What is Cybersecurity? 

Cybersecurity includes the technologies, processes, and practices that are put in place to protect from cyber-attacks that are created to inflict harm against a network system or when hackers gain access to data without authorization.

The most beneficial kinds of IT security for your company will offer a comprehensive solution to protect against a variety of issues. Ideally, your solution needs the following to include: firewall, antivirus, anti-spam, wireless security, and online content filtration.

What is Threat Monitoring? 

Threat monitoring includes several different features. Commonly, this service consists of constant monitoring across all networks and vulnerability scanning of access points for any interruptions or signs of malicious activity.

From that point, any monitoring would let the administrator not only determine what is happening across the network at any given moment but also recognize any risks or possible password or breaches of login credential security that are in place. While doing so the administrator could address system vulnerabilities and build a security protocol that will best address these weak points in your system.

eye, iris, biometrics

Do You Need Security Threat Monitoring?

Apart from some very small exceptions, the answer is clearly YES. Any institution managing any form of intercepted data, financial information, or client is a major target for cybercriminals. Neglecting your network unmonitored is the equivalent of being a sitting duck.

A typical misunderstanding that many small firms have is that their data is not precious to would-be hackers or just not worth their efforts or time. This mindset could make you an easy victim. One of the principal reasons you need cyber threat monitoring is because most cybercriminals take the path of least friction. You need to understand that you are facing the same cyber threats as large companies even though you probably have a fraction of the resources to deal with them.

A single cyberattack can cost you your business. Studies done by the National Cyber Security Alliance revealed that 60 percent of small and mid-sized companies close after 6 months following a cyberattack. Companies that fall victim to hackers and cybercriminals lose their customers’ trust and their clients’ repeat business.

Security Threat Monitoring Benefits

This is why spending on the services of a firm that handles cybersecurity for the company is a must-have investment. Let’s have a look at the reasons why you should partner with a cybersecurity provider like Cybriant right now:

1. Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks

A cybersecurity provider’s main responsibility is to defend your business from all sorts of cyberattacks. They will deploy security solutions like the Endpoint Protection system to keep malware and hackers away. Their services revolve around actively updating your software and monitoring network activity to meet that end.

2. Identify Weaknesses in your Network Infrastructure

Your network likely harbors security vulnerabilities that will allow hackers to enter your system. When you hire a cybersecurity company, one of the first things they’ll do is examine every nook and cranny of your network for vulnerabilities. They’ll then report their findings to you and generate an action plan to plug these security holes and strengthen your network.

3. Provide Cybersecurity Training

If left inexperienced your employees can be your greatest vulnerability. According to the studies of the Ponemon Institute 2018, human error accounts for 27% of the root causes of data breaches. Cybersecurity training will cut these percentages down as employees learn about correct cybersecurity hygiene and habits.

4. Update Cybersecurity Defenses

Cybersecurity companies will perform regular patch management on every device in the system. Each hardware in the network can house security vulnerabilities in their operating systems. The developers of these programs routinely “patch” these security holes and IT teams download and install these applications on their system devices.

Your cybersecurity partner will install these patches and keep them up-to-date to guard your network from malware that will exploit weaknesses.

5. Detect and Remediate Cybersecurity Issues

A cybersecurity provider will regularly monitor the processes within your system and keep an eye out for inconsistencies. They’ll also implement every method of scanning for malware and viruses within their arsenal to see if more modern forms of malware have sneaked their way into the infrastructure. If their detection programs find anything, they will quickly clean the malware and revive your system to its working condition.

6. Help Your Business with Compliance

As huge data breaches come into mainstream awareness, more and more authorities have started hefting the duty of protecting customer data onto corporations and businesses. They introduce laws to do this and fine entities that don’t comply.

A cybersecurity company will help your business meet these regulations by keeping your network up to date. They will also help you shape policies in your business around cybersecurity so you stay within compliance obligations.

7. Your Crisis Response Team

If unfortunately, a cyberattack happens, your cybersecurity firm will know exactly what to do. For instance, they’ll employ solutions. Should your corporation suffer from an ongoing data breach, they’ll immediately go into action to resolve the situation rapidly to staunch the bleeding.

fingerprint, unlock, network

Improve Password Security

Improving password security is a critical step in bolstering your overall cybersecurity. Start by creating strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. A strong password typically consists of at least 12 characters and includes a mix of letters, numbers, and special symbols. Avoid using personal information as default passwords such as birthdays or names that could be easily guessed by hackers.

Additionally, implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an extra layer of security. This method requires users to provide two pieces of evidence before gaining access to an account. Lastly, consider using a reputable password manager. These tools generate and store complex passwords for you, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Prevent Password Theft with a Password Manager

A Password Manager plays a crucial role in preventing password theft by storing all your passwords securely in an encrypted format. This means that even if a hacker gains access to your computer, they won’t be able to read your passwords. A Password Manager also encourages the use of complex passwords, since you don’t have to remember them, which reduces the likelihood of using easy-to-guess or common passwords.

Additionally, some Password Managers can generate unique, random passwords for each of your accounts, further enhancing your security. Finally, they can auto-fill your passwords on websites, preventing keyloggers from capturing your keystrokes, and ensuring you never have to type out your passwords. These combined measures contribute to significantly stronger passwords, lowering the risk of password theft.

circle, technology, abstract


As you can see, a cybersecurity provider can do a lot for your company. The true value of partnering with a cybersecurity company is that it will help your company progress by protecting business continuity and fostering an environment where employees can feel secure to work. A safe working atmosphere plus keeping your reputation clean can guarantee your business’ profit in the long term.

cybriant xdr


Biggest Bank Fraud Cases in History

Biggest Bank Fraud Cases in History

Take a look at some of the most serious cases of bank fraud in recent history. Hackers, insider threats, and more are at the root cause of these. Are you doing everything you can to prevent fraud in your organization? 

The team at Fortunly recently created an infographic with information on the biggest bank fraud cases in history.

Common Security Threats

These cases are filled with so much drama that books have been written about them and Hollywood movies have been created using these storylines.

When you look at the facts, there are certain underlying similarities that you can prevent in your organization. Prevent bank fraud by being aware of these potential threats:

Insider Threats

Some of the cases of bank fraud include hacks and cover-ups from former employees. But, you are always at risk of insider threats when it comes to your security. It’s important to be sure your employees are aware of security threats and be aware of suspicious emails, etc. You also have to protect your employees by using technology or services like Managed Detection & Response that could prevent malware from executing.

Phishing Emails

Hackers are getting smarter, cyberattacks are getting more and more prevalent in 2019.

Why? Because cybercrime is big business. In 2018 alone, cybercriminals received $1.5 Trillion in revenue. 

According to a new study, 70% of American workers don’t grasp web security and privacy. The majority – 70% – of US employees fail when it comes to security and privacy best practices. Employees represent the biggest threat to their company or organization’s cybersecurity, this is just further proof. The email phishing statistics below are proof of this fact.

While this is alarming, it’s important to understand that organizations are not spending enough on technology or services to prevent cybersecurity issues from happening. While budgets are rising slowly, employees still need to be aware that they are the biggest threat to their organization. Read more phishing email stats here. 

New attack vectors and vulnerabilities are discovered every day. Your organization likely has firewalls, IDS/IPS, and AV solutions installed that look for malicious activity at various points within the IT infrastructure, from the perimeter to endpoints. However, many of these solutions are not equipped to detect zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats. Consider using a service like our Managed Detection & Remediation.


When your goal is to protect your organization’s data, you need to have a baseline framework that will help all future decision-making. When you have a framework in place, an assessment Compromise Assessment is helpful in discovering the potential gaps in your security strategy.

The Financial Industry’s Biggest Threat

Biggest Ever Cases of Bank Fraud

2019 Email Phishing Statistics and How to Avoid Becoming One

2019 Email Phishing Statistics and How to Avoid Becoming One

Here are the latest phishing statistics from 2019. As we learned in the recent Capital One data breach, many cybersecurity attacks begin from within. 


Hackers are getting smarter, cyberattacks are getting more and more prevalent in 2019.

Why? Because cybercrime is big business. In 2018 alone, cybercriminals received $1.5 Trillion in revenue. 

According to a new study, 70% of American workers don’t grasp web security and privacy. The majority – 70% – of US employees fail when it comes to security and privacy best practices. Employees represent the biggest threat to their company or organization’s cybersecurity, this is just further proof. The email phishing statistics below are proof of this fact.

While this is alarming, it’s important to understand that organizations are not spending enough on technology or services to prevent cybersecurity issues from happening. While budgets are rising slowly, employees still need to be aware that they are the biggest threat to their organization.

What is Phishing? 

Phishing is a type of fraud act that typically comes through in an unsolicited email where the hacker receives information such as your personal and sensitive details including username, password, bank details, card information, and many more by the use of electronic communication.

Phishing emails typically contain a link that will lead to a download that contains malware.

How does it work?

Once your email has been targeted, this may mean that passwords or other personal information have been discovered through the dark web or information listed online.

Hackers will recreate emails that you have potentially received from companies you are associated with. For example, your bank, shopping sites, insurance, job-related information, job search sites, etc.

These phishing emails have started looking so similar to emails from the actual company, many have been deceived. If you’ve received one and then replied to those emails, your details may have been compromised.

The basic working of phishing emails is that they will tell you to do one of two different things, in which they will ask for your details such as username, password, sensitive information, and many more. For which if you replied, then you just shared your details with a hacker, who can take advantage of your personal information in any way.

2019 Email Phishing Statistics

  • At 1 in 230 emails, Mining topped the list of industries receiving a malicious email in June. Wholesale Trade came in second place with 1 in 404 emails being malicious.https://cybriant.com/the-financial-industrys-biggest-threat/
  • Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate topped the list when it came to industries receiving a phishing email, with 1 in 5,711 emails, down from 1 in 17,195 emails the previous month.
  • The Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate sector also saw the highest spam rate in June at 58.2 percent.
  • The phishing rate increased in June to 1 in 8,516 emails, up from 1 in 15,098 the previous month. (Source)
  • 1.16 billion email addresses and passwords exposed The number of “unique combinations of email addresses and passwords” was discovered in 2019 in a massive breach called “Collection 1.” This load of information was discovered by an IT security researcher and is thought to be the largest breach in history to date, according to an article by Fortune.
  • Email responsible for spreading 92% of all malware CSO Online estimates that email is the primary method of malware delivery
  • U.S. target of 86% of phishing attacks Phish Labs reports that 86% of phishing attacks targeted U.S. victims.
  • According to Proofpoint, the OneDrive phishing campaign is part of a growing trend of credential compromise attacks.
  • Phishing that targeted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and webmail services became the biggest category of phishing. At 36 percent of all phishing attacks, it eclipsed phishing against the payment services category for the first time.
  • The total number of phishing sites detected by APWG in the first quarter of 2019 was up notably over the third and fourth quarters of 2018.
  • The number of phishing attacks hosted on Web sites that have HTTPS and SSL certificates reached a new high.
  • In Brazil, mobile phishing rose, and phishers also attacked SaaS providers. Cybercriminals also deployed malware that targeted multiple banks at a time.
  • Among the most targeted malware and credential phishing attacks, nearly 30 percent targeted generic email aliases. These email addresses are shared typically within an organization.
  • Among organizations targeted by email spoofing, more than 40% were the intended recipients of 50 or more fraudulent emails. That’s 4x the year-ago percentage.
  • 13 percent of email addresses identified as the most highly targeted recipients during the quarter ranked as such in the last report, reflecting attackers’ shifting focus. (Source)

Phishing Techniques

There are different types of Phishing techniques, let us have a look at what they are-

1. Spear Phishing – In this technique, the hackers don’t send emails to unknowns for who they don’t have any info, but they do proper research while sending fraud mails to them. It is an adequately targeted mail-sharing technique.

2. Spam –  Under this technique, the same type of email is sent to millions of people out there, from which those who reply, their details get used by those fraud people for wrong purposes.

3. Web delivery– In this case, the deliveries are done with the help of a website or a web browser; under this technique, the hacker is in between the real site and the phishing system.

4. Fraud Links- Under this technique, a fake link is sent to you with the help of a mail or direct message. If you clicked on this link, then you are confirming to share your details with the hacker directly.

5. Trojan– This is a type of malware with the help of which hackers gets direct access to your data easily if your device is affected by this malware.

How to Avoid Being One of These Phishing Statistics

There are some ways with the help which you can stay away from such fraud attempts of phishing emails.

  • New scams are being built daily, so if you update yourself daily about the latest and upcoming scams, then this would help you in getting rid of such fraud attempts.
  • If you feel that the link is not safe or before clicking any link think twice.
  • Don’t click the link in the email. If you are unsure, simply enter the URL and go straight to the website from your browser.
  • Always have a look at your online accounts to find out that there aren’t any wrong or fraud attempts being done on them.
  • Keep your browsers and applications up to date. Many security patches are being installed, on the newer updates of web browsers, so check updates regularly.
  • Two-Factor authentication is an excellent method to stay away from such fraud attempts. As in two-factor authentication, you will be authenticated, with the help of two different means.

How To Tell if it is a Phishing Email

Here are some tips:

  • Too good to be true? It probably is. Check with your security department.
  • Beware seasonal emails – taxes, holiday offers
  • Is the email address correct? Many spoofed sites have just a letter or two switched up.
  • Why do they need your personal information? Most organizations do not request personal information via email.
  • Hover technique. Don’t click! Simply hover over the URL to see where it is sending you. Report to security if the URL seems off to you.
  • If you are unable to know whether the mail you received is a fake or real one, then you should directly contact the place from where the mail you received.

Cybriant Recommendations

There are too many examples of organizations being taken down by cybercriminals because of an insider threat – either malicious or not. We work with organizations to avoid phishing statistics. It is up to the organization, no matter the size, to protect its data.

Start with a Security Assessment to determine whether your security strategy has a solid foundation.  You’ll receive a gap analysis that will give you the top recommendations on what to identify the minimum necessary adjustments your company must make to comply with any regulations. A risk assessment will also suggest changes that will also encourage a more secure environment.

Managed SIEM with 24/7 Security Monitoring – this managed service will address and resolve your most complex cyber risk events.  Your organization may already have SIEM technology that aggregates data from all of your security controls into a single correlation engine,  but it may also create huge amounts of alerts including false positives.  Our security experts can tune your SIEM and provide insightful analysis for real-time threat detection and incident response.

Managed Endpoint Detection and Response PLUS remediation – this managed service uses artificial intelligence to stop advanced threats and malware at the most vulnerable point – the endpoint.

Vulnerability and Patch Management – continuous scans, detailed tracking, and responsive patching is a managed service that will allow you to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks.

Make it easy with PREtect – We simplify the cybersecurity process by providing a solid foundation with our PREtect service.


Simplify Cybersecurity with PREtect