Mobile phishing is an issue plaguing the masses and a growing concern for enterprises, particularly as 2022 had the highest percentage of mobile phishing encounter rates ever, according to Lookout‘s Global State of Mobile Phishing report. On average, more than 30% of personal and enterprise users exposed to these attacks every quarter.
In the U.K., there was a 35% increase in the average number of mobile devices exposed to at least one malicious phishing attack per quarter between 2020 and 2022. In the last two years, 20-30% of mobile devices in the U.K. have been exposed to at least one malicious phishing attack every quarter.
Lookout also found that users on all devices – whether personal or work provided – are tapping more on mobile phishing links in comparison to just two years ago. The report estimates the potential annual financial impact of mobile phishing to an organisation of 5,000 employees is nearly $4 million. Enterprises operating in highly regulated industries – including insurance, banking, legal, healthcare and financial services – were found to be the most heavily targeted.
“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,” said Aaron Cockerill, chief strategy officer at Lookout. “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.”
In 2022, more than 50% of personal devices were exposed to a mobile phishing attack every quarter, with the percentage of users falling for multiple mobile phishing links in a year is increasing rapidly year over year.
Users, endpoints and applications are now so closely connected that threat actors can initiate advanced attacks simply by stealing user credentials. 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. It is likely that the rise of remote work has contributed to this, as organizations relax bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to accommodate employees accessing corporate networks outside the traditional security perimeter.
Lookout also claim mobile phishing attacks are also growing more sophisticated. 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.