With the festive season in full swing and organisations winding down for the end-of-year break, cyber criminals are ramping up phishing attacks. Recent research from F5 Labs has found that phishing attempts increase 50% between October and January.
71% of attacks impersonated ten top-name organisations, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Adobe and DocuSign.
David Warburton, senior EMEA threat research evangelist at F5 Networks, said:
We’re in the middle of a cyber-crimewave where phishers and fraudsters take advantage of people at their most distracted.
It is prime season for individuals giving up credentials or inadvertently installing malware. Businesses are wrapping up end-of-year activities, key staff are on vacation, and record numbers of online holiday shoppers are searching for the best deals, looking for last-minute credit or feeling generous when charities come calling.
The research revealed that training employees to recognise phishing attempts decreased the click-through rate from 33% to 13%.
With fewer people in the office over the festive season, it’s important to remain vigilant. Those who are at work are tying up loose ends before the end of the year and typically have their thoughts elsewhere; just one lapse of judgement or hasty click could potentially compromise your systems.
What can you do?
Inform employees of the dangers. Teach them how to identify and understand phishing scams, inform them of what could happen should they fall victim and show them how they mitigate the threat of an attack. Educate your team quickly and cost effectively with our Phishing Staff Awareness E-learning Course.
If you’re short on time, and would prefer to have a resource that your team can refer to, take a look at our free infographic.