Phishing isn’t just for emails anymore

By Andrea David: Web browsers have a lot to answer for. In a recent survey of 400 CIOs, 68% said that cyber criminals are now so sophisticated, their staff struggle to differentiate between safe and unsafe sites1. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that 70% of IT professionals experience weekly phishing attacks – and not just via email2.

Despite greater awareness and investment in security software and employee education, there’s been a 232% jump in cyber-attacks on notebooks and desktops over the last six years3. Cyber-criminals are still getting through, because the numbers are on their side.

It takes a huge amount of effort to safeguard data, but it only takes one employee clicking on one malicious link to bring down your business.

Social media cyber-attacks are a large part of this problem. Platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, are rich hunting ground for cybercriminals. Not only are they designed for engagement and communication, they’re also simple to use and cheap to run. It’s incredibly easy to set up fraudulent accounts and start posting malicious content, from links and data harvesting to landing pages with unreliable pop-ups.

Most of these online activities are based on phishing techniques, which used to be reserved to email. Social media enables connections between people, and it doesn’t take much to build up a substantial, credible persona and following with genuine users of the platforms.

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