73% of UK businesses have experienced phishing in 12 months

Merchants around the world are expected to lose more than $ 20 billion to fraud in 2021 alone, a staggering amount indicating the growing threat digital fraud poses to businesses and individuals.

In the UK, phishing programs are gaining ground, with 73% of businesses in the region experiencing data breaches due to phishing in the past year. The scammers’ modus operandi was to trick employees into losing login credentials that they then used to breach company systems.

Read more: No phishing: layered defense is the best way to keep scammers empty-handed

However, phishers weren’t to blame for all of this, as the study found that 74% of companies say their employees violated data security rules and facilitated the company’s data leak.

This data was presented in a recent PYMNTS study, conducted in collaboration with PayPal, on how organizations can detect and prevent phishing attacks through employee training, regular phishing drills, and siled system access.

But even as phishing becomes a dangerous threat, other fraud techniques are rife in the UK, where nearly £ 97million ($ 132million) has been lost to fraudsters posing as fraudsters. police officers. And outside of the UK, other European countries like Denmark, France, Ireland and Luxembourg have also reported high rates of fraudulent attacks.

To stem the tide, Chuck Brooks, assistant professor of cybersecurity risk management at Georgetown University, told PYMNTS that companies can make phishing harder by limiting employee access or requiring two-way authentication. steps to access certain sites. “Many companies are also going to ban certain sites that workers cannot visit,” he said.

Companies are also deploying various defenses to stop fraudsters. A survey cited in the PYMNTS report found that a third of financial institutions (FIs) have stepped up their artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) programs, for example, as increased digitization during the pandemic has allowed bad actors to engage in illicit activities.

Almost 60% of these FIs said they have added AI and ML to their anti-money laundering (AML) programs or plan to do so within the next 12-18 months.

Consumers Beware

Whether against businesses or consumers, fraudsters will use all means to achieve their goal.

This month, data from Action Fraud, the UK’s reporting center for fraud and cybercrime, showed that consumers continue to fall victim to a different kind of digital fraud, this time involving consumers. cryptocurrencies.

This has resulted in more than 146 million pounds sterling ($ 201.2 million) in virtual currency-related losses since the start of this year, which is a staggering 30% increase from the amount lost over the course of the year. set of 2020.

According to Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish of the City of London Police, there has been a significant increase in reports of cryptocurrency fraud in recent years as people spend more time online. “Being more online means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities,” Mullish said.

And while individuals should take charge of their own online protection and do the necessary research before making an investment, the UK government is counting on the Joint Fraud Taskforce to help tackle broader fraud in the country.

“[The] Government alone cannot solve this problem, which is why the Joint Fraud Taskforce will bring together key business leaders to work in partnership to protect the public and fight this cowardly crime, ”said UK Home Secretary , Priti Patel, in a UK’s Evening report. Standard.

Read more: UK banking protocol helps end $ 44million scam attempts in first half of 21

Created in 2016, the task force is relaunched under the leadership of Security Minister Damien Hinds and will meet for the first time on Thursday, October 21, according to the report. The agency includes members of the public and private sectors, law enforcement and victim groups.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: DIGITAL BANKING STUDY – THE BATTLE OF BREWING FOR WHERE WE WILL BANK

On: Forty-seven percent of U.S. consumers avoid digital-only banks due to data security concerns, despite considerable interest in these services. In Digital Banking: The Brewing Battle For Where We Will Bank, PYMNTS surveyed over 2,200 consumers to reveal how digital-only banks can boost privacy and security while providing convenient services to meet this unmet demand.

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