Since we first uncovered the first known phishing attack in 1998 and then elaborated on the concept of phishing in 2000, there has been much discourse around the implications and security threats posed by this kind of social engineering. Phishing has become increasingly more sophisticated in successive years since then. This article will go through how phishing tactics are increasing in sophistication, what you can do to beat a malicious campaign and avoid becoming a victim of one yourself, as well as some statistics about why you should be worried about being targeted.
A successful phishing attack can have far-reaching repercussions on your organization. According to a Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, an average of $2.60 per account was lost per phishing scam, with an estimated amount of $1.4 billion being stolen through phishing scams in 2012. The implications can be huge, and it is important to note the damage that a well-planned social engineering campaign can do.
With phishing-related losses rising, it is important to understand how phishing has become more sophisticated in order to avoid being caught off guard. In today's world, the most likely victim of a phishing scam is someone who uses social media extensively. Many of us, especially those in the IT industries, have been targeted by one or a number of social engineering campaigns.
In light of the increasing sophistication of phishing campaigns, it is important to protect yourself against them. As we go over different techniques and tools available, you will be able to see how you can prevent your own vulnerability. Also, let's not forget that there are other ways for the phishers to get at you, such as your news feed advertising and malicious websites.
Have you received a phishing attack or seen one being deployed? The best way to report these is direct to the organization that has been affected by them. To do so, visit their website and look for an appropriate contact. If you think they are not doing enough, other organizations, such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), can report your concerns.
In order to stop phishing, you need to understand it. That is why many resources are available for you to educate yourself about phishing and its implications. It is also important that you keep an eye out for phishing-related campaigns and other exploits such as spear-phishing and whaling. Reporting these can help us spread awareness about the dangers of phishing and help reduce its incidence.
In the end, it is important that you are careful about what you do and how you go about it. However, with proper education and the right tools, you can drastically reduce the chances of becoming a victim of phishing attacks. Also, in case you find out that your organization has been affected by one, it is best to report this immediately to the proper authorities.
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