The most prevalent sort of phishing attack is spear phishing, which accounts for 65 percent of all phishing attempts. Employees get an average of 14 fraudulent emails every year, according to a Tessian study from 2021.
Every day, some 15 billion spam emails are sent; spam accounts for 45 percent of all emails.
What is Spear Phishing?
Spear phishing is a type of social engineering attack that targets a specific individual or organization.
Unlike phishing attacks that are indiscriminate and send out mass emails to anyone in an effort to trick them into clicking on a malicious link, spear-phishing attacks are carefully crafted and personalized to target a specific person or organization.
The attacker will often do research on their target ahead of time in order to make their email seem more credible.
They may use publicly available information, such as the target’s name, job title, or company, to make the email seem like it came from a legitimate source.
Spear phishing attacks can be very difficult to detect, as they can appear to come from a trusted source.
It is important to be aware of these types of attacks and to be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.
How does spear phishing work?
In a spear-phishing attack, the attacker will send an email that appears to come from a trusted source, such as a coworker, boss, or vendor.
The email will usually contain a link or attachment that, when clicked, will download malware onto the victim’s computer.
Spear phishing vs phishing
Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack that is targeted at a specific individual or organization. The attacker will use personal information about the target to make the email look more legitimate and trick the user into clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
Phishing, on the other hand, is a mass email campaign that is sent to a large number of people in the hopes that some will take the bait and click on the malicious link or attachment.
What Helps Protect from Spear Phishing?
Spear phishing is a type of email fraud in which hackers pose as a trusted entity in order to trick victims into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or financial details.
This type of attack is becoming increasingly common, as hackers are able to collect more information about their targets before launching an attack.
Organizations need to be aware of the threat of spear phishing and take steps to protect themselves.
This includes educating employees about the risks of clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown senders, as well as implementing technical controls such as email filtering and two-factor authentication.
Below are five ways to protect against spear phishing.
There were approximately 214,345 unique phishing websites identified in 2021, and the number of recent phishing attacks has more than doubled since early 2020.
1. Educate your employees about spear phishing.
Phishing awareness training help employees identify phishing emails and protect themselves and their organizations from cyberattacks.
Make sure your employees are aware of spear phishing attacks and how to spot them. Teach them to be suspicious of any email that:
- Asks them to click on a link or open an attachment
- Comes from an unknown sender
- Contains spelling or grammatical errors
- Is unexpected or contains urgent language
2. Use email filtering.
Email filtering is the process of sorting email messages according to predetermined criteria. Filtering can be used to remove spam messages or to sort messages according to the subject, sender, or other criteria.
Email filtering can help to block spear phishing emails from reaching your employees’ inboxes. Look for an email filtering solution that includes features like URL filtering and attachment scanning.
3. Implement two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your employees’ accounts by requiring them to enter a code from a second device in addition to their password.
This makes it much harder for attackers to gain access to accounts, even if they have stolen a password.
4. Keep your software up to date.
Make sure all of the software on your employees’ computers is up to date, including the operating system, web browser, and any email clients or plugins.
Attackers often exploit vulnerabilities in out-of-date software to install malware on victims’ computers.
5. Back up your data.
In the event that an attacker does manage to install malware on a computer, it’s important to have a backup of all your data.
This way, you can restore any files that may have been deleted or corrupted by the malware.