Phishing vs Spear Phishing


The Osterman Research White Paper ‘Best Practices for Implementing Security Awareness Training’ reveals a wide range of issues that concern security professionals. One of which being more than 90% of organisations report that phishing and spear phishing attempts reaching end users during 2018 are either increasing or staying at the same levels.

While phishing and spear phishing attacks are similar, there are many key differences to be aware of.

A phishing campaign is very broad and automated, think ‘spray and pray’.

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to execute a massive phishing campaign. Most phishing attempts are after things like credit card data, usernames and passwords, etc. and are usually a one-and-done attack. 

On the other hand, spear phishing is highly targeted, going after a specific employee, company, or individuals within that company.

This approach requires advanced hacking techniques and a great amount of research on their targets. Spear phishers are after more valuable data like confidential information, business secrets, and things of that nature. That is why a more targeted approach is required; they find out who has the information they seek and go after that particular person. A spear phishing email is really just the beginning of the attack as the bad guys attempt to get access to the larger network.

Network Utilities partner with KnowBe4 to help our customers keep users on their toes with security top of mind. Effective new-school security awareness training helps reduce risk and strengthen an organisation’s human firewall.

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