The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is a global coalition comprised of nearly 2,000 institutions that unite to thwart cyberattacks. APWG releases a quarterly report to increase awareness of cybercrime threats. IT support providers in Houston pay close attention to this report as it provides important insight into phishing attacks and other digital threats. Here’s a look at the most important findings from the latest APWG report:
Digital Attacks are at the Highest Level Ever
APWG’s report states the number of digital attacks has soared since the report was first released in 2004. Attacks have jumped nearly 6,000 percent in the past 12 years. China is receiving more attacks than any other nation. Nearly 50 percent of Chinese machines are infected. Turkey and Taiwan are the second and third most affected nations.
APWG’s Data Shows Phishing Attacks are on the Rise
The report states that phishing attacks have increased 65 percent since 2016. The most phishing attacks occurred in April while the least occurred in December. In particular, spear-phishing attacks are spiking. These attacks on employee email accounts put companies square in the cross-hairs for data theft. Phishing is also becoming more advanced. The digital attackers behind these schemes are zeroing in on specific employees and organizations that are particularly vulnerable.
The bottom line is no company or employee is exempt from the wrath of phishers and hackers. If you are not properly equipped to handle phishing attacks, you need an IT support provider in Houston that can help you thwart attacks and keep your operations hitting on all cylinders without interruption.
Phishing No Longer Requires Specific Domain Names
Phishers typically provide similar domain names to fool victims. Such a tactic is referred to as spoofing. The APWG analysis shows fewer digital attackers are resorting to spoof brands in domain names. This indicates deception is no longer necessary to confuse web users. Phishers are resorting to additional tricks like placing brand names elsewhere in URLs, shortening URLs to create the destination domain and letting the user move his mouse over the hyperlink and see a phony destination domain.
The Retail and Service Industries are Being Targeted at High Rates
Retail has been a prime target of phishing attacks for several years; yet in the fourth quarter of 2016, the retail and service sectors received a whopping 42 percent of reported phishing attacks. The financial sector was the second most targeted sector with nearly 20 percent of phishing attacks. ISP came in third at nearly 13 percent. The APWG reports also state targeted brands averaged an incredible 400 attacks per month across the initial three-quarters. This figure decreased to 264 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This data lends credence to the idea that phishing tailed off a bit when the holiday season arrived.
You need a reliable IT support provider in Houston to protect your company and prevent phishing and other forms of cybercrime. At ICS, our mission is to custom-tailor IT solutions to your unique tech challenges. Ally with our team and you won’t have to worry about network, hardware and software problems stifling your organization’s productivity and efficiency. Contact us today!