From Then To Now: Changes We Have Seen In Anti-Phishing Solutions

The last two years of lockdowns and social distancing didn’t just change the way that we work, socialize, and learn -- they had a tremendous impact on cybercriminals, who viewed the seismic shift to online spaces as a golden opportunity for their schemes. Cybercriminals began launching advanced attacks using technology like AI and Machine Learning to enhance their outreach, while others just utilize modern mainstream online platforms such as social media to do so.

With so many changes taking place in the digital world at a lightning-fast pace, how can businesses safeguard their brand reputations, bottom lines, employees, and customers from increasingly sophisticated cyber risks, including phishing attacks? 

The Pandemic’s Impact on Digital Risks

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a rapid acceleration in digitization. Many critical aspects of social and economic life have moved online, which increases society’s reliance on digital tools. This includes a range of activities from working-from-home to remote doctor’s visits and business meetings conducted over Zoom. 

This huge shift to the digital sphere did not go unnoticed by cybercriminals. Online phishing attacks spiked in 2021, with governments worldwide seeing a staggering 1,885% increase in ransomware attacks, according to SonicWall’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report

Social Media Spike

With social media use growing during the pandemic, there has also been a massive uptick in fraudulent activity and fake accounts, leading to increased phishing and fraud attacks. While big businesses were once the sole targets of these types of attacks, cybercriminals are now targeting small and medium sized businesses. 

Cybercriminals are working overtime to digitally stalk and lure employees of the companies they are planning to attack, and that effort to ensnare workers isn’t limited to senior level executives. Every person within a company, including non-management employees and even candidates still in the recruitment stage, could be the target of a phishing or fraud attack.

The majority of businesses could majorly benefit from adopting recognized good practices around mitigating digital risks, including:

  • Embracing anti-phishing solutions 
  • Implementing formal information security regimes
  • Avoiding unsupported software 
  • Adopting solid password practices 

Additionally, business leaders must strengthen their grasp of technologies that are critical to cybersecurity, as well as limit reliance on individual suppliers or technologies. 

Learn more about monitoring social media networks for fraud

Decentralization and Other Vulnerabilities

One of the biggest changes in today’s digital landscape is the widespread shift to the Cloud. With more employees than ever working remotely, companies have had to decentralize their data, apps, and tools to allow teams access when they’re not in the office. This move has meant that a huge amount of sensitive information is spread out across a wider array of locations than ever before.

With the added vulnerabilities created by decentralization, everything from network structures to procedures around data permissions has needed to change. Considering that apps and services are now located off-site, within third-party data centers, and public clouds, security tools need to survey all of these domains to identify and control risks. 

Compared to recent years, sign-up processes have needed to become more sophisticated, with added passwords, but companies must also invest in advanced anti-phishing solutions in order to secure their off-site tools and data.

The Knowledge Gap We Need to Bridge

Another issue creating major security challenges for businesses are knowledge and skill gaps, as well as a lack of resources and educational tools. Because the technology is changing so fast, many CISOs struggle to remain on top of the latest developments, and don’t have time to learn about new issues that aren’t under the scope of their traditional responsibilities. 

The result is that threat intelligence solutions are a dime a dozen on the market, but there are very few threat hunting solutions. This poses a serious problem for organizations, as effective security assurance must have continuous, near real-time visibility and frequent contextualized assessments of key processes and technologies. Businesses should also hire information systems and security professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, skill sets, and knowledge. This will immediately lower the risk of knowledge gaps.

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No Sign of Slowing Down: More Changes In Anti-Phishing Solutions Ahead

According to the principle of Moore’s Law, we can expect every aspect of the tech industry to accelerate every two years. Judging by the frantic progression of the digital space since 2020, we need to ask ourselves if we are prepared for what cyber threats will look like five years from now.

Considering how today’s technology investments will impact the future is critical. On-demand access to data and information platforms is growing, and cybercriminals are responding accordingly. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of advanced technologies, such as AI and Machine Learning, in order to sharpen their methods and launch increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks. 

We must shift to more progressive security capabilities, proactively architected for appropriate coverage. Analysis needs to be at scale and in near real time to be effective, and static protection based on outdated attack methodologies won’t make a difference.

Staying One Step Ahead of Threats

One of the key defining features of today’s cyber landscape is its rapidly changing nature. Technology is constantly progressing, and cybercriminals are refining and evolving their techniques every day. Meanwhile, authorities can take years to create and implement new laws, putting business owners and consumers one step behind cybercriminals who can act with agility.

Businesses must take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach towards cybersecurity that takes into account the fluctuating nature of online threats.

In order to properly assess the wide array risks facing their organizations, leaders and senior executives need to plan for the next phase of cyber threats by looking forward, never growing complacent with their cyber defense strategies. 

BrandShield provides your business with a holistic view of the threats facing your brand online. The solution is designed to safeguard your enterprise from a plethora of online threats, and offers you highly effective phishing takedown services. Talk to us today to learn more about how we can help protect your organization from advanced digital risks:

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