Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

1/25/2019
03:10 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
50%
50%

Social Engineering, Credential Compromise Jumped in 2018: Proofpoint

Cybercriminals continue to target end users, requiring a people-centric security approach and demonstrating the importance of security awareness training.

Sunnyvale, Calif.—January 24, 2019 – Proofpoint, Inc., (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today released its fifth annual State of the Phish Report, which uncovers phishing cyberattack trends across more than 15 industries and details the fundamental cybersecurity knowledge of more than 7,000 working adults in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. Data from tens of millions of simulated phishing attacks sent over a one-year period were analyzed along with nearly 15,000 cybersecurity professional survey responses, from both Proofpoint customers and outside organizations, to provide an in-depth look at state of global phishing attacks.

Overall, 83 percent of global infosecurity respondents experienced phishing attacks in 2018, up from 76 percent in 2017, and nearly 60 percent saw an increase in employee detection following security awareness training. In addition, more organizations were affected by all types of social engineering attacks (phishing, spear phishing, sms phishing, voice phishing, and USB drops) year over year. For the first time, compromised accounts bypassed malware infections as the most commonly identified impact of successful phishing attacks.

“Email is the top cyberattack vector, and today’s cybercriminals are persistently targeting high-value individuals who have privileged access or handle sensitive data within an organization,” said Joe Ferrara, general manager of Security Awareness Training for Proofpoint. “As these threats grow in scope and sophistication, it is critical that organizations prioritize security awareness training to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices and establish a people-centric strategy to defend against threat actors’ unwavering focus on compromising end users.”

This year’s State of the Phish Report key findings include the following:

  • Infosecurity professionals reported a higher frequency of all types of social engineering attacks year over year. Phishing increased to 83 percent vs. 76 percent. Spear phishing increased to 64 percent from 53 percent. Vishing and/or smishing increased to 49 percent vs. 45 percent, and USB attacks increased to 4 percent vs. 3 percent.
  • Credential compromise has increased 70 percent since 2017 and 280 percent since 2016, surpassing malware infections to become the most common phishing attack impact in 2018. Respondents reporting phishing attacks, that resulted in data loss, more than tripled between 2016 and 2018, underscoring the growing phishing threat and impact from such attacks.
  • 83 percent of global respondents experienced phishing attacks in 2018, demonstrating a 9 percent year-over-year increase. Only 10 percent of respondents reported experiencing a ransomware attack, confirming that ransomware took a back seat to other types of attacks last year.
  • 59 percent of suspicious emails reported by end users were classified as potential phishing, indicating that employees are being more diligent and thoughtful about the emails they receive.
  • Baby boomers outperformed all other age groups in fundamental phishing and ransomware knowledge, underscoring why organizations should not assume a younger workforce has an innate awareness of cybersecurity threats.
  • Educating employees about today’s cyber threats is essential. In a global survey, working adults identified the following terms correctly: phishing (66 percent correct), ransomware (45 percent correct), smishing (23 percent correct), and vishing (18 percent correct). These findings spotlight a knowledge gap when it comes to the language security teams are using when communicating to end users.

To download the State of the Phish 2019 Report, and see a full list of global comparisons, please visit: https://www.proofpoint.com/us/resources/threat-reports/state-of-phish. For more information on cybersecurity awareness best practices and training, please visit: https://www.proofpoint.com/us/products/phishing-simulation-security-awareness.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
Cognitive Bias Can Hamper Security Decisions
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12855
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-16
In words.protocols.jabber.xmlstream in Twisted through 19.2.1, XMPP support did not verify certificates when used with TLS, allowing an attacker to MITM connections.
CVE-2013-7472
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
The "Count per Day" plugin before 3.2.6 for WordPress allows XSS via the wp-admin/?page=cpd_metaboxes daytoshow parameter.
CVE-2019-12839
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In OrangeHRM 4.3.1 and before, there is an input validation error within admin/listMailConfiguration (txtSendmailPath parameter) that allows authenticated attackers to achieve arbitrary command execution.
CVE-2019-12840
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In Webmin through 1.910, any user authorized to the "Package Updates" module can execute arbitrary commands with root privileges via the data parameter to update.cgi.
CVE-2019-12835
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
formats/xml.cpp in Leanify 0.4.3 allows for a controlled out-of-bounds write in xml_memory_writer::write via characters that require escaping.