According to a new report released by the government backed GetSafeOnline and City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), the UK saw a sharp rise in phishing attacks in 2015.
The data showed that a growing number of consumers and businesses fell victim to online scams and cost UK consumers a total of £174.4 million.
Of the 95,556 incidents recorded, 77% of them were the result of email phishing scams.
Social engineering and phishing are the most common types of cyber-attacks and the fact that so many people continue to be tricked by the scammers’ shows that more needs to be done to educate organisations and encourage them to create cyber security aware cultures.
What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is a method used by hackers to manipulate people into giving up sensitive information. The sort of information the criminal is after are often passwords or bank details. Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick people into giving away their private information such as passwords, credit and bank card account details and financial information. They do this by pretending to be legitimate companies and then trying to convince a target to open a spam email, click on a dodgy link or go to a fake website.
‘Fraudsters are using ever more sophisticated methods to gain personal information and these types of attempts have often left victims penniless. We urge everyone who receives unsolicited phone calls, texts, emails or letters to ignore them and never enter into conversation with someone that you don’t know online or over the phone,’ said Commander Chris Greany of the City of London Police.
Tackling the Threat
To help organisations tackle the risks posed by social engineering and phishing, PGI's Cyber Security Awareness course (CSA) teaches leaders and managers of organisations to grasp the business critical issues of cyber security.
PGI also provide penetration test and incident response services. By understanding what needs to be done to reduce risks, an organisation’s leadership can take appropriate and effective action.
For more information on how PGI can make your business cyber secure click here