Nearly Half of Organizations Have Experienced Vishing

Vishing ScamForty-seven percent of organizations have experienced voice phishing (vishing) attacks over the past year, according to researchers at Mutare. Additionally, the researchers found that nine percent of all phone calls received by organizations are unwanted, and nearly half of these are malicious.

“45% of all unwanted traffic is tied to nefarious activity, while 55% is tied to nuisance activity. Remarkably, more than one-third of respondents to the Voice Network Threat Survey (38%) said their organizations do not collect any data on the amount of inbound, unwanted, and potentially malicious voice traffic hitting their organizations. Of those that do collect such data, 23% of respondents estimated that 5% to 10% of inbound calls were unwanted, followed by 15% of respondents who estimated that over 10% of inbound calls were unwanted, and 10% of respondents who estimated that over 20% of calls were unwanted.”

Most respondents cited employee errors and email as the greatest risk to their organization, while just ten percent recognized the risk from phone calls.

“The biggest source of security risk stems from employee errors, according to 43% of survey respondents,” the researchers write. “That ranking was followed by the risk from email (36%), endpoints (35%), data networks (17%), data storage (12%), and applications/core systems (9%). Only 10% of respondents cited their voice networks and phone systems as the biggest source of security risk in their organizations, reinforcing a widespread lack of awareness about this problem.”

Respondents varied in their responses on how best to respond to the threat of phone-based social engineering.

“More than one-third (36%) of respondents cited security awareness training as the top solution to protect voice networks from Vishing (voice vishing) and Smishing (SMS phishing) attacks,” Mutare says. “That approach was followed by traffic firewalls (34%), spam blockers (26%), training for vishing attacks (20%), training for social engineering (23%), and threat detection (13%). In addition, more than one-fourth of survey respondents (26%) were unsure about which tools were being used to protect their voice networks, and 9% said their organizations had no solutions in place whatsoever to protect their voice networks.”

Note well: most of the calls aren’t just irritating, but they’re “nefarious,” potentially damaging. New-school security awareness training can give your organization an essential layer of defense by teaching your employees how to thwart social engineering attacks.

Mutare has the story.

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