Zscaler: 400% Increase in Phishing Attacks Directed at Retail and Wholesale

Published On: May 15, 2022Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Zscaler, Inc., a San Jose-based cloud security company, has issued its 2022 ThreatLabz Phishing Report showing a major increase in phishing attacks. The study reviews 12 months of global phishing data from the Zscaler security cloud to identify key trends, industries and geographies at risk, and emerging tactics. The research team analyzed data from more than 200 billion daily transactions, and 150 million daily blocked attacks in order to identify emerging threats and track malicious actors from across the globe. This year’s report showed dramatic 29% growth in overall phishing attacks compared to previous years, with retail and wholesale companies bearing the brunt of the increase. The report also showed an emerging reliance on phishing-as-a-service methods, as well as new attack vectors, such as SMS phishing, becoming one of the more prevalent methods of intrusion.

“Phishing attacks are impacting businesses and consumers with alarming frequency, complexity, and scope – with the rise in phishing-as-a-service making it easier than ever for non-sophisticated actors to launch successful attacks,” said Deepen Desai, CISO and VP of Security Research and Operations at Zscaler. “Our annual report highlights how cybercriminals continue to escalate their usage of phishing as a starting point to breach organizations to deliver ransomware or steal sensitive data.”

In 2021, the U.S. was the most-targeted country globally, accounting for over 60% of all phishing attacks blocked by the Zscaler security cloud. The next most frequently attacked countries include Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Not all countries experienced the same attention from phishing attacks. For example, the Netherlands experienced a decrease of 38 %, which may have resulted from recently passed legislation that increased the penalties for online fraud.

Retail and wholesale businesses experienced an increase of over 400% in phishing attempts – the most out of all tracked industries. These businesses were followed by financial and government sectors, with organizations in these industries seeing over 100% increases in attacks on average. However, some industries experienced partial relief from phishing attacks last year. Healthcare saw a notable drop of 59%, while the services industry saw a decline of 33%.

Channel Impact®
Zscaler recommends that channel partners assist their customers by helping them to understand the risks, leveraging automated tools and actionable intelligence to reduce phishing incidents, simulating phishing attacks to identify gaps in security policies and procedures, and evaluating security infrastructure to ensure access to the latest research and system capabilities.

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