According to KnowBe4, the largest number of phishing sites were documented in 2020. Google’s Transparency Report stated that there were 2.1 million phishing sites last year, climbing 25% from the number of sites discovered in 2019. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect your business with proper safety measures and to be aware of the top four types of phishing attacks.
Spear-phishing is the act of sending an email to a targeted group. It’s comparable to fishing with a spear, going after the fish that you want with a spear and targeting them. Spear-phishing is a well-researched form of phishing with the goal of infiltrating one singular organization. Oftentimes, the hacker will use the names and roles of individuals within the company to sound more official.
Smishing is a form of phishing that uses text messages as a way to gain important information. Smishing can be dangerous because most people are more likely to trust a text message over an email. An example of smishing is if an attacker reaches out to you telling you your bank account has been compromised and asking for you to provide your bank account PIN, social security number, or other personal, valuable information.
A whaling attack is similar to a spear-phishing attack, except the attacker goes after a larger singular target. Typically in a whaling attack, the target is an influential, high-profile individual, like an executive. Whaling is also known as CEO fraud, and most of the time, the attacker uses more sophisticated methods of hacking.
Vishing is an attack that takes place as a voice call or voicemail. During a vishing phone call, the attacker usually calls pretending to be your bank or a government official in need of personal information that could help them access your identity or money.
All four of these types of phishing attacks share the same framework but are displayed differently. Whether it be through a phone call, email, or voicemail, it’s important to be aware of what a phishing attack looks like and how to protect your business. Here are a few additional resources for how to protect yourself from phishing attacks:
- How to Spot a Phishing Email
- Protect Your Business from Phishing Scams with IT Services in Atlanta
- How to Spot and Stop Phishing Attacks
If you need additional protection, we would love to help you! Give us a call at 678-578-4932 or reach out to us here.