Financial Institutions are the Most Affected by Phishing Attacks and Scams

Financial Institutions PhishingNew data shows how the overwhelming majority of phishing attacks on financial institutions dwarf every other industry sector by as much as a factor of 30-to-1.

It’s no secret that banks and other types of financial institutions hold all the money, so it should be no surprise that's where cybercriminals focused their malicious activities last year, according to Group IB’s Digital Risk Trends 2023 report.

According to the report, phishing attacks spoofing the financial services industry represented nearly 24% of all attacks – the highest recorded in the report (for reference, the next highest targeted industry was Social Media, with just under 17% of all attacks). With the number of phishing websites growing by 62% in just one year, the nearly one-quarter of attacks on a single industry indicates a focus by many cybercriminal groups to “go where the money is."

But what’s truly staggering is the percentage of scams targeting the financial services industry. Group IB defines scams as “illegal usage of trademarks, misrepresentation of brand partnerships, scam advertising, fake social media and messenger accounts, and illegal distribution of branded mobile apps” – activity that jumped by 304% in just one year.  According to the report, 74% of those scams focused on the financial services industry – again, demonstrating an overwhelming focus by cybercriminals.

With phishing and brand impersonation of organizations at such an all-time high, it’s necessary for anyone to heighten their sense of vigilance when interacting with banking websites, and even apps. Those within organizations responsible for any and all handling of financial details should undergo continual new-school security awareness training to maintain those needed levels of vigilance.

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