Proofpoint analyzed data from tens of millions of simulated phishing attacks sent over a one-year period, along with nearly 15,000 cybersecurity professional survey responses, 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.
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.
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