Exponential growth of COVID-19 themed phishing attacks. Are your users prepared?


A new report reveals a massive 667% increase in spear-phishing attacks due to the current pandemic, with over 9000 phishing attack campaigns, related to COVID-19, being detected in March versus just over 1100 in February and only 137 in January. These attacks are taking on all forms including; brand impersonation, business email compromise, scams and even blackmail. *

Many organisations like yours have asked traditional office-based employees to work from home and while technology allows that to happen, is your newly formed remote workforce armed with the knowledge to keep themselves and your network safe?

The potential for cyber criminals to get access to your users and to elicit a response to these types of spear-phishing attacks is high due to the coronavirus theme being exploited and all organisations need to ensure their users remain vigilant.

Now more than ever Security Awareness Training is critical for your remote employees.

  • Cyber-attacks focus on employees as targets – Phishing attacks remain the single-most used attack vector to allow the bad guys direct access to your organisation’s endpoints, credentials, applications, and data. If a phishing email is presented to one of your employees, it means your security solutions haven’t detected it as malicious, leaving the employee to be your last line of defence.
  • Employee’s aren’t thinking about organizational security – Think about it; your average remote worker is sitting at a make-shift desk, trying to balance helping their kids with distance learning assignments and attending online meetings. They’re learning new digital workplace platforms, applications, and processes before they even shower for the day. Security is the last thing on an employee’s mind.
  • Attacks and scams are increasingly aligning with remote working – Cybercriminals conjure up scams that seem familiar to users. The use of shipping, billing, and banking stories, as well as the use of impersonated domains, business, and people, all have traditionally worked in favour of the bad guy. But, new scams are being moulded around the current work circumstances. For example, we’ve recently seen the massive growth in Zoom-related attacks simply because of Zoom’s increase in popularity for business use. Organisations should expect this to trend.

*Source: Barracuda Sentinel https://blog.barracuda.com/2020/03/26/threat-spotlight-coronavirus-related-phishing/

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