Phishing Is Still the No. 1 Attack Vector, With Huge 144% Malicious URL Spike

Phishing Remains Common Form of AttackAnalysis of nearly a year’s worth of emails brings insight into exactly what kinds of malicious content are being used, who’s being impersonated, and who’s being targeted.

I love data built on statistically relevant data samples, as the larger the data set, the more relevant and representative of an entire industry, country, or world it is.

One such report is Hornetsecurity’s just released Cyber Security Report 2024. They analyzed 45 billion emails sent in 2023 to see exactly which techniques cybercriminals are using to infiltrate your network. 

First, the seemingly “good” news: according to Hornetsecurity, only 3.6% of all emails were considered malicious.  At first glance, this seems rather small. But when you consider that we’re still talking about 1.6 billion emails that are putting organizations at risk, this is actually horrible news.

Phishing was the most common email-based attack method, representing 43.3% of attacks (other email attack methods included advanced-fee scams, extortion, impersonation, etc.). And within those emails, malicious URLs was the top technique used at 30.5% (a 144% growth from last year). For those emails with attachments, HTML files were most popular – found in 37.1% of cases.

Using a “threat index,” Hornetsecurity listed the top 20 industries based on risk; research, entertainment, manufacturing, media and healthcare topped the list.























Source: Hornetsecurity

Regardless of the specific technique(s) used, it takes a user falling for the social engineering used and engaging with a link, attachment, or phone number to keep an attack moving forward. By enrolling users in new-school security awareness training, organizations reduce that risk, thereby lowering the likelihood of successful attack via phishing.

KnowBe4 enables your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
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  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

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