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Phishing still remains one of the biggest cyber threat for organisations

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Credit: ID 90095624 © Mark Polegaev |

Phishing attacks remain prevalent and are a pressing reason for organisations across all industries to remain assertive and up to date in their cybersecurity practices.

Phishing attacks can bring organisations to their knees, with cybercriminals often able to rely on simple tricks to break into email accounts and networks. For example, phishing attacks can fool employees within an organisation into opening infected emails in business email compromise (BEC) schemes, which can infiltrate entire companies with spyware and ransomware.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a 136 per cent increase in identified global exposed losses relating to BEC and other email account related scams between December 2016 and May 2018.The United Kingdom’s (UK) 2019 Cyber Breaches Security Survey recently revealed that phishing consistently registers as the country’s greatest cybersecurity concern; a claim supported by 80 per cent of surveyed businesses.

In Australia, businesses lost $2.8 million to BEC scams in 2018, as reported to Scamwatch. BEC scams cause businesses significant financial harm, accounting for 63 per cent of all business losses reported to Scamwatch. The average loss is nearly $30,000.

More than 20 years ago, phishing threats emerged as a burgeoning criminal exploit, and since then, phishing has remained a central issue organisations have worked to combat. Despite this, phishing still remains difficult for cybersecurity professionals to beat. This is because: