Late last year we reported in our 2018 Phishing Survey results that there is a serious underestimation of the gaps in protection against today’s sophisticated phishing attacks. In fact, 95% of the 300 respondents didn’t even realize that phishing attacks are the start of over 90% of the successful network breaches. In addition, our blog on Spear Phishing HR for Sensitive Employee Data highlighted a White Paper by Osterman Research which showed that more than one-half of users surveyed receive minimal or no training on how to deal with the variety of security threats they encounter on a regular basis. Most companies just don’t do enough to educate their employees and mitigate the human element inherent in most of these successful attacks. Cybercriminals depend on the frailties of human beings and are very aware that businesses have inadequate safeguards in place to protect the people in their organization against fast moving, zero-hour phishing threats on the web.
A recent Aberdeen report – Reducing the Risk of Phishing Attacks: The Race is On – shared some findings on the human element at the forefront of most phishing attacks. They simulated 1,400 phishing attacks and found that:
- The likelihood of the first user click on malicious emails occurring within 30 seconds was about 8%
- The likelihood of the first user click on malicious emails occurring within 60 seconds was about 30%
- The median time-to-first click on malicious emails was just 134 seconds
- The “long tail” for how long until the first user click on malicious emails was a still-modest 4 hours
Given the human element at the forefront of these sophisticated phishing attacks it’s becoming apparent that today’s mainstream phishing security solutions are simply too slow to be effective. Aberdeen’s research shows that while browser blocking defenses are between 94.3% and 96.7% effective within the first 60 minutes, the empirical likelihood of first click within 60 minutes is more than 90%. Bottom line… the need for speed here is crucial. And, if most of today’s technology is not sufficient or fast enough, then manual remediation is certainly ineffective.
Aberdeen also shared some data from Webroot showing a large-scale analysis of URLs in 2017 which revealed that only 3 out of 4 were deemed trustworthy. This means that 25% of the URLs out there today are considered suspicious or in need of scrutiny. That’s a LOT of websites to cover!
In Aberdeen’s view, the superiority of information that comes from this emerging blend of real-time analytics, automation, and integration — across a broad observation space — reflects the agile, technology-based approach to security that defenders need to have going forward to successfully manage the highly dynamic risk of phishing attacks. A combination of pre-delivery detection and protection and postdelivery protection and response, leveraging the expertise and focus of specialized solution providers, is by far the fastest and most effective approach in the accelerating race against time.
SlashNext enables organizations to close the phishing gap with real-time detection so they can educate and protect themselves from zero-hour phishing threats on the web. Unlike other anti-phishing methods, SlashNext patent-pending SEERTM technology uses virtual browsers to dynamically inspect millions of suspicious URLs daily scrutinizing page content and server behavior to detect tens of thousands of new phishing URLs per day with extreme accuracy. Together with fully automated URL re-checking and retirement, security teams get the most comprehensive, up-to-the minute, real-time phishing threat intelligence available.
When it comes to phishing attack prevention, delivering on the need for speed is becoming more and more critical. Download the Aberdeen report for detail.