Phishing Attacks on Financial Services Firms Double – Now Up to 16 per Hour

Phishing incidents more than doubled over the past year, according to RSA Monthly Online Fraud Reports, which tracked a 118% increase in attacks between April 2011 and May 2012, and saw roughly half target North American firms. Meanwhile the Q4 2011 Mark Monitor Fraud Report found that most phishing attacks – 67% – targeted financial and payment services firms. Together that would mean attacks against these targets have increased to around 16 per hour.

These statistics came from yesterday’s FS-ISAC webinar, We’re Not Going to Take it Anymore: Stop Phishing and Fraud Now. (If you weren’t able to attend, please click here for the recording.)

Our primary focus was on steps phishing targets are taking to protect their brands – and their customers. Authenticating email is one—the Online Trust Alliance says 34% of the FDIC 100 have adopted both SPF and DKIM. The BITS/FS-ISAC Trusted Email Registry program is another.

Powered by Return Path’s Domain Assurance, this program helps prevent phishing emails from reaching end users by showing senders all mail sent under their brands. Return Path collates data from more than 70 ISP data sources, so the Trusted Email Registry program provides the widest available viewing window into all mail streams – legitimate and fraudulent – to let senders see the frequency, size, and specific details of phishing attacks against them.

The financial and payment services industries will always be attractive targets for fraudulent activity, but member companies can take steps like these today to detect and deflect phishing attacks before they compromise valuable customers and erode brand loyalty.

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