What do over 90% of cyber attacks start with? Hint: It’s Not What You Think


I’ve seen it all. The ever-evolving tactics of cyber attackers keep us on our toes. But the truth is, despite their diverse methods, over 90% of cyber attacks have one thing in common. It’s not what you think. You might be surprised to learn that the origins of a cyber attack are often much simpler than you might expect. So buckle up and get ready to hear some eye-opening revelations. This is a story about how the smallest things can lead to the biggest threats in the digital world.

What do over 90% of cyber attacks start with?

Over 90% of cyber attacks start with phishing techniques. Phishing attacks are a common cyber threat that uses social engineering techniques to manipulate users into clicking on malicious links or opening infected attachments. As a result, hackers gain access to confidential information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, which could lead to significant financial and reputational losses. Below are some ways in which technology can be used to stop phishing attacks and help users differentiate between legitimate and phishing emails.

  • Anti-phishing software: Anti-phishing software is designed to scan emails and detect malicious links or attachments. With anti-phishing software in place, users can be alerted to potential phishing attacks before they click on any suspicious links.
  • User awareness training: Regular phishing awareness training can help users recognize phishing attacks before they click on any links or attachments. Cybersecurity experts can explain the dangers of phishing attacks and show users how to spot and avoid them.
  • Email filtering: Email filtering uses specific rules to identify phishing emails and block them from reaching users’ inboxes. Email filtering is an effective way to block phishing emails before they reach users.
  • Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide two pieces of information to gain access to systems or networks. This approach makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to secure resources even if they have obtained a user’s password through phishing attacks.
  • Encryption: Encryption adds an extra layer of security to emails and other types of digital communications. It ensures that only the intended recipient can access the information contained in the email, which could deter hackers attempting to intercept confidential data from phishing attacks.
  • In conclusion, over 90% of cyber attacks start with phishing techniques which can ultimately lead to significant financial and reputational damages. It’s essential to use technology such as anti-phishing software, user awareness training, email filtering, two-factor authentication, and encryption to prevent phishing attacks and protect users’ sensitive information.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Use strong passwords: Weak passwords are the easiest way for cybercriminals to get access to your sensitive information. Ensure that all your passwords are strong and unique.

    2. Keep your systems updated: Most cyber attacks exploit vulnerabilities in software and operating systems. Regularly updating your systems can close any potential security gaps.

    3. Beware of phishing emails: Over 90% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email. Be cautious of suspicious emails supposedly from credible sources. Verify the authenticity of such emails before opening them.

    4. Install antivirus software: Antivirus software helps to detect and destroy malware, which is a common tool used by cyber attackers. Install reliable antivirus software and ensure it stays updated.

    5. Back up your data: It is essential to regularly back up your data in case of a successful cyber attack. This ensures that you can recover lost data if the attack causes data loss or corrupt your files.

    Introduction to Phishing Attacks

    Cybersecurity is a growing concern for many organizations, from small businesses to large corporations. One of the most common forms of cyber attacks is phishing. Phishing is a technique used by hackers to obtain sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, by disguising themselves as a trustworthy entity. Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult for end users to identify them. In fact, over 90% of all cyber attacks begin with a phishing email.

    Understanding the Phishing Technique

    Phishing attacks use a variety of techniques to deceive end users, such as spoofed email addresses, enticing subject lines, and urgent calls to action. In a typical phishing attack, hackers create a fake login page or website that looks identical to a legitimate site. When a victim enters their login credentials, the information is captured by the attacker and used to gain access to sensitive information. Phishing attacks can also be used to install malware on a victim’s computer by disguising the malware as a legitimate file attachment.

    Some common phishing techniques include:

    • Spear phishing: a targeted attack aimed at specific individuals or organizations
    • Whaling: a type of spear phishing targeting high-level executives
    • Smishing: a form of phishing that occurs over SMS text messaging
    • Vishing: a form of phishing that occurs over the phone

    How Hackers Use Phishing to Gain Access

    Once hackers gain access to a victim’s login credentials or install malware on their computer, they can use this information to steal sensitive data, such as financial information or intellectual property. They can also use the compromised account to send additional phishing emails to the victim’s contacts, perpetuating the attack.

    Some common ways hackers use phishing include:

    • Gaining access to corporate networks and customer databases
    • Stealing personal identifiable information to commit identity theft
    • Installing ransomware to encrypt a victim’s files and demand payment

    Real-life Examples of Phishing Attacks

    Phishing attacks can have devastating consequences for both individuals and organizations. In 2014, Target suffered a massive data breach that compromised the personal information of 110 million customers. The cause of the breach was a phishing email sent to one of Target’s vendors, which allowed hackers to gain access to the company’s network. Similarly, in 2016, the Democratic National Committee was hacked through a spear-phishing attack, which allowed hackers to steal sensitive information and influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

    Preventing Phishing Attacks with Technology

    There are a number of technological solutions available to help prevent phishing attacks. One of the simplest solutions is to utilize spam filters to block known phishing emails from ever reaching end users. Additionally, many email clients now include built-in phishing protection that can scan incoming emails for suspicious content.

    Other technological solutions include:

    • Two-factor authentication: requiring a secondary form of authentication to log in to an account
    • Web filters: blocking access to known phishing websites or malware domains
    • Endpoint protection: software that can detect and prevent malware from running on a computer

    Identifying Phishing Emails

    While technology can be helpful in preventing phishing attacks, end users must also be cautious and aware of the signs of a phishing email. Some common signs include:

    Emails that:

    • Come from an unfamiliar sender
    • Have a generic greeting, such as “Dear Customer”
    • Contain urgent language and threaten consequences if action is not taken immediately
    • Request personal or financial information
    • Contain spelling or grammatical errors

    Educating Employees on Phishing Prevention

    One of the most effective ways to prevent phishing attacks is to educate employees on the risks and signs of phishing emails. This can be done through training sessions, posters, and newsletters. Employees should be encouraged to report suspicious emails and to never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. Additionally, companies should establish and enforce a clear email policy, outlining guidelines for sending and receiving emails.

    Conclusion: The Importance of Phishing Awareness

    Phishing attacks are a significant threat to both individuals and organizations. By understanding the techniques used by hackers and implementing technological and educational solutions, it is possible to prevent many phishing attacks from occurring. However, it is important for end users to remain vigilant and aware of the signs of a phishing email in order to protect sensitive information and prevent the devastating consequences of a successful phishing attack.