Phishing Attacks Maintain “New Normal” Elevated Levels into the Middle of 2021

Phishing Attacks  Remain "New Normal"New data from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (AWPG) shows the Q2 of 2021 showed similar phishing activity to that of Q1, indicating no slowdown in attacks.

We’d all like to see some sort of reprieve to the heightened levels of phishing and spear phishing attacks we’ve experienced over the last 18 months. Since the pandemic started, the cybercrime ecosystem has grown and evolved into new attack methods and business models never before seen, with phishing remaining at the forefront.

According to AWPG’s Phishing Activity Trends Report for Q2 2021, these “new normal” levels aren’t dissipating at all:

  • The number of sites remained relatively flat at 616K sites (compared to 611K in the 1st quarter), maintaining the 6x jump from only about 100K sites this time last year
  • The number of brands targeted did rise by a little more than 15% to 1458, up from 1302 the previous quarter and up 42% over the same time last year
  • Financial Institutions and Social Media continue to be primary targets of phishing attacks, aligning with both last quarter and the same quarter last year
  • Phishing sites continue to maintain similar levels of use of HTTPS encryption to establish credibility

Sustained levels of attacks by cybercriminals are keeping the pressure on organizations to protect themselves with a solid layered security strategy that includes Security Awareness Training to ensure users know to be vigilant of malicious content when interacting with email and the web.

From the current data AWPG is seeing, it appears that our current levels of phishing attacks aren’t subsiding any time soon. And, if my guess is correct, we’re going to see this continue to increase by the end of the year.

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