Email Security Blog

2021 Phishing Trends to Watch For

With 2020 behind us, it’s safe to say that the year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw record-setting highs and lows for businesses around the globe.

If you look at 2020 from a resourcefulness standpoint, thousands of businesses would win high praises. How quickly we were able to figure out remote working. How wonderfully healthcare operations stood up to the coronavirus. How creatively some operations shifted manufacturing capabilities to either help with high demand or support an entirely new focus, such as making hand sanitizer.

On the other hand, if you look at 2020 from a destructive standpoint, the picture painted is much grimmer. Nearly 100,000 U.S. businesses that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic ended up closing for good.1 And now, even as the vaccine brings hope that there is an end in sight, a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank shows that 3 out of 10 small businesses believe they won’t survive 2021 without additional assistance. To make matters worse, and as if the pandemic wasn’t enough to contend with, the FBI’s internet crime complaint center saw a 69.4% increase in cases and more than 28,500 of those were related to COVID-19 scams.3

For businesses, this spelled a lot of trouble and loss. According to the FBI, “Business E-mail Compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest: 19,369 complaints with an adjusted loss of approximately $1.8 billion. Phishing scams were also prominent: 241,342 complaints, with adjusted losses of over $54 million. The number of ransomware incidents also continues to rise, with 2,474 incidents reported in 2020.”4

Considering incidents of email phishing are now 12 times higher than they were just 5 years ago, 2021 is poised to be fraught with cybercrime. Here are five trends to watch for in the coming months:

  1. Additional government impersonators will be trying to gather personal information or illicit money through sophisticated phishing scams.
  2. Cloud breaches will be on the rise as companies continue to offer remote working options to their employees.
  3. Targeted data theft will climb due to the fact that thousands of businesses have not done enough to properly secure their sensitive information from hackers and cybercriminals.
  4. Ransomware attacks could escalate as they did in 2020, a year that saw $29.1 million in damages. Using email phishing campaigns, cybercriminals have compromised email accounts using precursor malware, which enables the hacker to then use a victim’s email account to further spread the infection.4
  5. Spear phishing campaigns - which impersonate a CEO, vendor, or other know person – will likely see more sophistication and even automation. This will drive the number of incidents, the complexity, and the likelihood that an employee will fall for this costly phishing threat.

Much like health officials are urging us not to let our guard down for the pandemic this year, it’s also clear that we must be diligent in our efforts to protect our businesses from the cybercriminals’ phishing scams. Nothing could be sadder than to see your organization through a pandemic, only to have it brought down by a sophisticated phishing event.

Don’t become a statistic on the 2021 internet crime report. Take the steps necessary to protect your company from email phishing whether your team is working remotely, in the office, and even on mobile devices. INKY is the industry’s best solution for the security of your email. Cost-effective and powerful, INKY can be implemented quickly, regardless of whether your employees work at the office or remotely. Uniquely effective at catching phishing attacks, INKY uses computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, to search for signs of fraud. It works on any device- including mobile - and places highly visible warning banners directly in the email.

Learn more about what INKY can do for your company and schedule a free demonstration today.

INKY® is the emerging hero in the war against phishing. An award-winning cloud-based email security solution, INKY® prevents the most complex phishing threats from disrupting or even immobilizing your company’s day-to-day business operations. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, INKY® is the smartest investment you can make in the security of your organization. INKY® is a proud winner of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge and finalist in the 2020 RSAC Innovation Sandbox Competition. Learn more about INKY® or request an online demonstration today.