Almost every organization across the globe adopted work from home policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Seeing the ongoing global crisis, cyber criminals leveraged the opportunity to send out highly sophisticated phishing emails to remote workers.
New security research revealed that the Middle East suffered more than 2.57 million phishing attacks in the second quarter of 2020. These attacks were detected from April 2020 till the end of June 2020, across several regions of the Middle East.
The biggest Arab economy, Saudi Arabia, saw 973,061 phishing attacks during the second quarter of 2020, according to the findings in the research. This was followed by the UAE, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
Check out the graphical image below for the number of attacks detected in the GCC region:
Rising Sophisticated Phishing and Other Email-Based Attacks
In our previous blog ‘Email-borne attacks expected to hit 60% of the organizations in the UAE’, we discussed rapidly rising email-based attacks. Moreover, we also discussed in our other blog about how 61% of airlines under IATA are at risk of email frauds.
It is crystal clear how cyber criminals are leveraging the current situation of remote working culture to attempt more sophisticated cyber attacks. Email-based attacks like phishing, email spoofing, spamming, BEC, etc., are on the rise due to exploitable security practices and policies.
Reportedly, the COVID-19 pandemic was the most exploited topic used by cyber criminals to send out phishing emails to remote workers in the past few months. Moreover, security experts also detected various phishing emails that were disguised as emails from HR, government officials, online retailers, and much more.
Phishing and email spoofing are some of the oldest forms cyber crime used for luring targeted users into giving away sensitive information. Cyber criminals use these malicious practices to steal financial credentials, corporate confidential information, login credentials, etc.
They steal the information from victims by disguising themselves as a legitimate or known source. Further, they misuse the obtained information by either selling it on cyber criminal forums or publishing on public websites.
According to the Dubai Future Foundation’s June 2020 study, there has been a 600% increase in phishing emails, recorded since February 2020. The healthcare facilities were found to be at the highest risk! (Source: The National)
How to Mitigate the Risk of Emerging Phishing Attacks?
Earlier, employees used to work in a cyber secure office environment that would secure them against cyber attacks. But today the increase in the adoption of work from home policy during pandemic has opened doors for cyber criminals.
However, a cyber secure infrastructure can be created while working from home too if organizations start practicing essential preventive measures. Security experts and decision-makers like CISO, CIO, CEO, CXO, and CTO must primarily initiate security awareness training for employees.
Employees should be trained and educated on how to detect and avoid phishing emails. Here are some helpful tips that employees should practice in order to stay secure against phishing emails.
- Always look out for alarming content and the sender’s email address in the suspicious-looking email.
- Beware of unsolicited emails that ask you to reply with your sensitive or confidential information.
- Never click on unexpected email attachments like URL, document file, image, etc., without email verification.
- Stay up to date with evolving phishing statistics and other email-based attacks.
- Keep all your system and software updated with the latest security patches.
- Implement essential email authentication protocols like DMARC, SPF, and DKIM to secure your email domain.
Phishing attacks are successful because cyber criminals spoof email domains of legitimate or renowned sources to dupe targeted users. Therefore, it is highly recommended to secure your email domain in order to protect it from domain forgery.
KDMARC is the best tool to secure your email domain and has been reviewed by the top technology review platforms like SourceForge. It is an email authentication tool that monitors DMARC, SPF, and DKIM.
This tool comes with a unique feature of setting DMARC in a click through KDMARC’s dashboard without the need to revisit the DNS. In addition to that, with Smart SPF, the user can alter IPs and email sources in SPF record through dashboard effortlessly.
Benefits of Implementing KDMARC:
- Detects and defends against email spoofing
- Boosts the email engagement rate
- Increases the rate of email deliverability
- Grants full insight into email channels
- Locates threat sources on the world map
- Customizable email domain threat summary
- 1-year email domain record retention
- Sets up email authentication policies via the dashboard
Click the button below to secure your email domain from spoofing for FREE with KDMARC!