E-mail attacks in the first half of 2022 increased by 48% over the previous six months per a report released by Abnormal Security. The report that explores the current threat landscape showed that of that of that increase, 68.5% of the attacks included a credential phishing link.

In addition to posing as internal employees and executives, bad actors impersonated major brands in 15% of phishing emails, relying on the brand familiarity and reputation to convince employees to provide their login credentials. Most common among the 265 brands impersonated in these attacks were social networks and Microsoft products.

Crane Hassold, Director of Threat Intelligence at Abnormal Security, stated, "The vast majority of cybercrime today is successful because it exploits the people behind the keyboard."

“By compromising people rather than networks, it is easier for attackers to circumvent conventional security measures. This is especially true with brand impersonation, where attackers use urgency and fear to encourage their targets to provide usernames and passwords."

LinkedIn took the top spot for brand impersonation, but Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365 appeared in 20% of all attacks. What makes these attacks particularly dangerous is that phishing emails are often the first step to compromising employee email accounts. Acquiring Microsoft credentials enables cybercriminals to access the full suite of connected products, allowing them to view sensitive data and use the account to send business email compromise attacks.

There was a 150% year-over-year increase in Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC) attacks. BEC attacks target every industry, but advertising and marketing agencies remain the most at risk with an 83% chance of receiving a BEC attack each week.

Financial supply chain compromise is continuing at a steady pace and targeting every size organization, with 89% of large enterprises receiving at least one vendor attack each week.

“We know that email attacks target organizations of all sizes across all industries, but this data continues to reiterate that point. Brand impersonation is particularly worrisome for cybersecurity leaders, since the most sophisticated attacks are incredibly difficult to differentiate from a legitimate email from that brand,” stated Mike Britton, CISO at Abnormal Security.

“As we see this trend continue to increase across the threat landscape, organizations should look to add security solutions that can detect these attacks, even when they come from legitimate domains and use never-before-seen links."

River Run’s R-Security has several options for business e-mail protection as well as phishing awareness training and testing for your employees. As always, River Run can help.



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