Email is a primary method of communication for organizations, but it also poses a significant security risk. Cybercriminals use various techniques, such as phishing, malware, and ransomware, to gain access to sensitive information and disrupt business operations.
Here are some common types of email attacks and statistics on their prevalence:
- Phishing: Phishing is a social engineering technique where attackers send emails that mimic legitimate sources in order to trick victims into providing personal information or login credentials. According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), phishing attacks increased by 667% in Q1 2020, while the findings of a study by PhishMe show that 91% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email.
- Business Email Compromise (BEC): BEC attacks involve the illegal access or imitation of an employee’s email account to deceive other employees, external business partners, or clients into initiating fraudulent money transfers. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), BEC attacks have caused over $43 billion in losses between June 2016 and December 2021.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global ransomware market is expected to reach $11.5 billion by 2021.
- Malware: Malware is malicious software that can be used to steal personal information, disrupt operations, or gain unauthorized access to a system. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, malware attacks are expected to cause $10.5 trillion in damages globally by 2021.
- Spam: Spam is an unwanted or unsolicited email that is typically used to promote products or services. According to a report by Symantec, spam accounted for 56.63% of email traffic in 2018.
- Spear Phishing: Spear phishing is a targeted phishing attack that uses specific information about the recipient to increase the chances of success. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, spear phishing attacks have a 45% success rate.
- Whaling: Whaling attacks target high-level executives and use their personal information to trick them into providing sensitive information or transferring money. According to a study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, whaling attacks have a success rate of 12%.
- Vishing: Vishing attacks use phone calls to trick recipients into providing personal information. According to a study by TrendMicro, vishing attacks have a success rate of 1 in 1,200 calls.
- Spoofing: Spoofing attacks use fake email addresses to trick recipients into believing the email is from a legitimate sender. According to a study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, spoofing attacks have a success rate of 2%.
- Impersonation: Impersonation attacks use a fake email address that closely resembles a legitimate one to trick recipients into providing personal information or transferring money. According to a study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, impersonation attacks have a success rate of 3%.
- Social Engineering: Social engineering attacks use psychological manipulation to trick recipients into providing personal information or transferring money. According to a study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, social engineering attacks have a success rate of 4%.
These statistics illustrate the importance of implementing email security best practices and being vigilant when it comes to email communications. It is crucial for organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest email security measures and to educate employees on how to spot and avoid these types of attacks.