Content, Content, Phishing

Mobile Users More Susceptible to Phishing Attacks than Two Years Ago

Phishing, E-Mail, Network Security, Computer Hacker, Cloud Computing

Last year saw the highest percentage of mobile phishing encounters ever, with an average of more than 30% of personal and enterprise users exposed every quarter, according to data compiled by Lookout, a mobile security provider.

Moreover, users of both personal and work-provided mobile devices are tapping more frequently on malicious phishing links than just two years ago, the vendor said in its newly released Global State of Mobile Phishing report.

Key Findings

Here are 10 key findings from the report:

  1. The potential annual financial impact of mobile phishing to an organization of 5,000 employees is nearly $4 million.
  2. Since 2021, mobile phishing encounter rates have increased roughly 10% for enterprise devices and more than 20% for personal devices.
  3. In 2022, more than 50% of personal devices were exposed to a mobile phishing attack every quarter.
  4. The percentage of users falling for multiple mobile phishing links in a year is increasing rapidly year over year.
  5. Organizations operating in highly regulated industries – including insurance, banking, legal, healthcare and financial services – were the most heavily targeted enterprises.
  6. Non-email based phishing attacks are growing rapidly, with vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing) and quishing (QR code phishing) increasing seven-fold in the second quarter of 2022.
  7. The share of mobile users in enterprise environments clicking on more than six malicious links annually has jumped from 1.6% in 2020 to 11.8% in 2022, indicating that users are having a tougher time distinguishing phishing messages from legitimate communications.
  8. Users, endpoints and applications are now so closely connected that threat actors can initiate advanced attacks simply by stealing user credentials.
  9. Mobile phishing is one of the most effective tactics to steal login credentials, which means that mobile phishing itself poses significant security, compliance, and financial risk to organizations in every industry.
  10. It is likely that the rise of remote work has contributed to mobile phishing as organizations relax bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to accommodate employees accessing corporate networks outside the traditional security perimeter.

Mobile Threat Surface Futures

Commenting on the report, Aaron Cockerill, chief strategy officer at Lookout said:

"Mobile as a threat surface will continue to grow, and hybrid work continues to grow in tandem, introducing huge numbers of unmanaged devices into the enterprise environment. It is more important now than ever for organizations to evolve their cybersecurity strategy to proactively combat mobile phishing. As one of the most effective attack vectors for threat actors, often serving as a starting-point for more advanced attacks, mobile phishing protection should be a top priority for organizations of any size."

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.