Greater danger of phishing in 2021
2021 brings new possibilities, but also a wide range of security threats. One of them isn’t going anywhere either, and in fact, has only surged in strike frequency. Phishing attacks have long plagued industries and inboxes since the inception of the internet, quite simply because they work. And now, in tandem with the COVID pandemic, attackers have broadened their efforts.
Thus, in 2021, your enterprise is looking down the barrel of social engineering scams and phishing attacks. That doesn’t sound optimistic, does it? But the reality is with new reliance on remote solutions and pandemic-related exploitation efforts, there’s a lot to be concerned with.
What’s phishing and social engineering?
Social engineering is a method by which malicious parties attempt to deceive users with fake messages. These messages impersonate trusted contacts, like friends or company brands. The goal is to deliver a malicious link or file.
A user that does not recognize the characteristics of a phishing message can inadvertently give away files or login credentials.
Phishing in 2020
No doubt, 2020 was a bit of a problem, to put it lightly. With remote solutions quickly adopted by businesses, users at home were suddenly responsible for their own IT security. Now, they had to decide whether or not received messages were trustworthy – but the problem was, users had limited education on phishing techniques and strategies.
Even phishing domains saw an enormous boost thanks to Covid. In March 2020 alone, google discovered thousands of newly registered phishing websites.
That stands to reason we won’t see this trend falter any time soon.
The problems for 2021
So, you’re starting to see the bigger picture. With reliance on work-at-home solutions and internet platforms, social engineering/phishing scams have material that’s ripe for exploitation. Network layers will see a siege of phishing related attacks in 2021, coupled with ransomware. Any industry is susceptible to attack and potentially exposed, so it’s time for extreme caution.
Workers are susceptible to these attacks, so it’s critical to help staff understand the characteristics and traits of a phishing attack.
For a quick guide, here are some key characteristics of social engineering:
- Attackers will always attempt to impersonate friends, trusted staff, or brands
- Phishing strikes can occur in any messaging platform, from file-sharing services to email, so it’s prudent to remain aware of that
- Phishing messages typically contain links to contaminated domains or malicious websites
- Social engineering will often rely on current events to remain topical and dangerous, in the case of 2020 using COVID-19 messaging
- Phishing messages are often filled with small errors from spelling, syntax, and unusual sender addresses
Even with this cheat sheet, it’s still difficult to catch phishing messages. Attacker methods grow more nuanced and complex while studying their targets carefully. It pays to be prepared, but often that’s not enough.
You can also invest in an MSP for additional advice and assistance. For more information, learn how Bytagig can help you today.