Phishing is one of the Internet’s oldest and longest-running scam techniques. Since its first appearance in the mid-90s, it’s fooled countless individuals, costing people and organizations billions of dollars. And it shows no signs of slowing down.
Thirty six percent of all breaches in 2021 involved phishing — that’s 11 percent more than last year — according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.1 And the international nonprofit Anti-Phishing Working Group reports that there were 222,127 phishes in June 20212 alone. How has this scam been so successful for so long?
Phishing is a method of social engineering designed to mislead people into believing they are dealing with a legitimate party. Cyber criminals employ deception, urgency or too-good-to-be-true promises to exploit common human responses like trust in authority, fear of missing out, greed or curiosity.