Gartner® Market Guide for Email Security
Gartner® Market Guide for Email Security
<strong>Why do Employees Continue To Fall for Phishing Attacks?</strong>

Why do Employees Continue To Fall for Phishing Attacks?

Phishers use increasingly sophisticated techniques with phishing scams to trick their victims into giving up personal details by sending legitimate emails first in the attack chain. Google detects about 17 million phish­ing emails every month, with most of them targeted at unsuspecting individuals using fake identities.

Successful Targeted Phishing Attacks
Phishing email scams, social engineering attacks, and business email compromise(BEC) attacks are some of our biggest threats. They’re so good at fooling people by sending unsolicited emails that they’re almost impossible to stop, even with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Research from 2022 found that 91% of all cyber attacks begin with a phishing email to an unsuspecting victim. Scammers pretend to be vendors to steal money and data. Are they collaborating with peers on online documents, forms, or sheets? Malicious actors exploit every free service and turn it into an attack vector.

We’ve written many posts about phishing, fake emails, and scams. By now, you probably know that they’re familiar and that attackers are becoming increasingly difficult to detect, but have you ever thought about the specific reasons someone falls for them?

Phishing Attack Lurking Underneath
Phishers often use realistic-sounding emails that seem to come from legitimate sources. They may warn users that their accounts will be disabled unless they update their passwords.

Phishing websites, accessed by clicking links in email messages, are often designed to look like legitimate institutions’ websites with stolen logos and similar designs. Still, their URLs usually end in numbers rather than letters, for example, instead of They may also use lowercase letters, l replaced with the numeral 1.

Email Attack Variants Changing
Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, blending into existing workflows and digital communication with high-quality phishing emails. The attacker continues to master their social engineering tactics by leveraging voice and texting threat vectors. These methods are becoming common types similar to email messages.

When responding to phishing campaigns, employees’ actions affect the organization’s information campaigns. According to an Intel Security study, human errors contribute to about 80 percent of breaches. These bloopers can cost organizations thousands and expose them to hackers, malware, and email scams. Only about one-quarter of phishing emails get blocked by employees.

Ransomware attacks continue to affect organizations globally. Most of these security threats and attacks begin with a phishing email or a hacker leveraging social engineering tricks, including vishing, smishing, and spear phishing.

Recent social engineering scams include target elderly and college-bound students. Many people within these demographics need to become more security aware and avoid clicking on suspicious links or responding to calls from hackers impersonating the IRS or a college loan lender.

Phishing Attacks Target Everyday Workflows
We have all become interconnected by technology and being a victim of phishing attacks. Many workflows occur via electronic mail, resulting in automated emails encouraging quick human responses. Sadly, many modern emails exploit these workflow techniques to fool victims into returning to their muscle memories when their brains cannot keep up with what is happening. Think about any workflow, and there’s a scam lurking underneath: As anti-phish tech has improved, many emails bypass links-based attacks.

Our Brains Make Snap Decisions.
We aren’t human beings – we’re just brain cells. Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” shows two systems that work together to decide what to do next. One method is fast and emotional and can lead us into trouble if we let it. The second one is slow and logical and helps us avoid danger. Unfortunately, these two systems often need clarification.

Why are Phishing Attacks still successful?
As cyber threat grows, the difficulty of finding an individual point of compromise within organizations increases. There are several factors contributing to phishing fraud. Tell me the reason a phishing attack still works.

Cybercriminals Developing AI-Powered Tools
You don’t have to be a genius to set up a phish­ing campaign. Phish­ing tools and mailing lists are available for purchase on the dark web, allowing scammers to quickly set up successful phish­ing campaigns with just a few mouse clicks. Once a phish­ing tool is installed on a server and configured, the scammer can use email to trick people into giving away their personal information.

Criminal Organizations are Well-Funded
Cybercrime has been growing at an alarming rate for several years now. It’s not surprising that criminals have enough funding to invest in technical resources to help them carry out their schemes. They can use these resources to improve the efficiency of their operations by increasing the number of phishing emails they send, the authenticity of the messages they send, or the sophistication of their attacks.

Cybercriminals have used social engineering techniques to target people online. For example, they’ve targeted people using social networks. A recent social engineering scam targeted security researchers under the guise of collaborating on vulnerability research and security awareness.

Social media is an increasingly popular target for online scammers. As a result, people are less likely to notice the tricks they use when interacting with them.

Phishing Kits are Cheap and Available.
A growing number of software programs are available for people who know nothing about computers to become involved in cybercrime.

With the proliferation of phishing kits and ransomware-as-a­-­services, there’s been an increase in the number of attacks from amateurs who want to get rich quickly by selling their wares online.

As security technologies have improved at detecting malicious links, many email attacks now avoid links altogether and use social engineering techniques to plant their payload.

Enabling A Winning Strategy Against Phishing
As technology strengthens, so too must our understanding of cyber security. We continue to see an increase in companies implementing security education initiatives. Security awareness training programs do have a positive impact in reducing phishing attacks against employees, contractors, and supply chain partners.

It recommended organizations non-SecOps resources spend a day working on incident response support tickets or mass phishing email attacks. These sessions give employees first-hand experience on how the organization handles phishing attacks, invoice fraud, and theft of online documents.

Complementing User Training with SecOps Visibility
With a unified approach to cybersecurity, organizations can leverage a uniform view of the threats facing them and take action accordingly.

Organizations should enable a consolidated, holistic email security platform to reduce phishing attacks.

Cloud-based email security strategy should integrate several adaptive controls to support the anti-phishing process.

“Organizations leveraging vendor consolidation strategies recognize instance value in ease-of-use management, faster resolution combating cybersecurity attacks,  and reduction of license cost and overall operation.”

Since scammers are weaponizing organizations’ data in their attacks, it makes sense for organizations to leverage the same data (and more) in their email security stack. Organizations should ensure their security solutions measure communication baselines to identify what’s normal and what isn’t, enabling them to spot anomalies and catch targeted phishing attacks that would otherwise slip past binary detection techniques.

Employees struggle to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent emails during the coronavirus pandemic.

Digital communication and technology are an indelible part of our lives, which has resulted in many workflows that happen over email, often with automated emails that encourage quick human action. Many of today’s email attacks replicate these workflows to trick victims into reverting to muscle memory before the brain catches up to what’s happening.

As cybercrimes become increasingly sophisticated in their attack techniques, COVID-19 will remain a popular topic for them in 2023. However, several new trends are developing.

Trustifi Advanced Email Security with Comprehensive Protection for Anti-phishing
There is no full-proof solution to stop phishing attacks, but organizations have successfully combined Trustifi cloud-based advanced email security solutions with accurate threat intelligence. Trustifi’s ease-of-use management platform enables inbound and outbound email protection with a few clicks of the mouse. Email security platforms and certain anti-phishing protection services require several days to set up and augment their solution with third-party products.

Trustifi’s consolidated strategy for email security combined several critical protection layers (anti-phishing included) into one solution. Email and security teams can easily adjust the policies to stop phishing attacks, suspicious URLs and attachments in email, business email compromise attacks, and blocking outbound data exfiltration breaches caused by ransomware attacks.

Trustifi’s Inbound Shield imposes a layer of protection between your email system and the outside world, using Artificial I, DMARC (AI), machine learning, and dynamic engines. Our cloud-based service also uses DNS authentication, DMARC, and DKIM protocols to spot potential authentication problems.

Supporting all compliance and privacy mandates
Trustifi’s consolidated email security strategy for anti-phishing also supports many compliance and privacy mandates out-of-the-box with no additional cost, including:

Trustifi is a cyber security firm featuring solutions delivered on software as a service platform. Trustifi leads the market with the easiest-to-use and deploys email security products, providing both inbound and outbound email security from a single vendor.

As a global cybersecurity provider of both inbound and outbound email protection, Trustifi currently supports customers from countries including the USA, Canada, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the UK, the Netherlands, India, the UAE, China, and Japan, Cyprus, the Philippines, and more. The company has also developed “One-Click Compliance” capabilities that cater to world security regulations, including PDPO for Hong Kong, POPI for South Africa, GDPR for Europe, and LGPD for Brazil.

Request A Demo: Trustifi: Email Security Solutions


Whether you’re looking for an extra layer of protection in your existing email environment or a complete suite solution, the expertise and simplicity Trustifi offers will exceed your expectations. Let’s discuss a customized email security plan that fits your needs perfectly

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