Surviving the Pandemic Phishing Phrenzy

The FBI received more than 241,000 complaints about phishing attempts during 2020, reports the Wall Street Journal. That was an increase of more than 126,000 from the prior year.

Why such a spike? The pandemic, of course. Crooks perpetrated phishing and an array of other cyber-fraud techniques to “target the most vulnerable in our society” during the continuing COVID-19 crisis, explains the Bureau’s annual Internet Crime Complaint Center report.

Phishing – defined simply as sending fake email to steal personal credentials – is a form of social engineering, which CSO magazine describes as the “art of exploiting human psychology, rather than technical hacking techniques.” Instead of searching for vulnerabilities in applications or networks, cyber criminals seek vulnerable employees.

So, no surprise the most common entry point for malware is email, providing access in more than nine of 10 cases. Research by Verizon and others indicates phishing is the root cause of nearly a third of security breaches.

How can your team guard against phishing breaches? Here are three tips gathered from cybersecurity columnists:

  1. Educate, Educate, Educate: Set email communication standards, continually adjust them as phishing threats evolve and share this knowledge with employees so they can identify, avoid and report suspicious messages.
  2. Plan, Plan, Plan: Make designing and tweaking your response to phishing attacks a priority.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice: Don’t just launch anti-phishing programs, maintain them by researching new phishing techniques and drilling IT response teams.

FYI – TeamLogicIT Plano are cybersecurity experts, too. Give us a call at (469) 573-3743 or contact teamlogicitplanotx.com.

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