SANS: Phishing Exploits Are The Top Threat

The SANS institute released the results of  a new survey recently, and found that cybersecurity professionals ranked phishing as the number one exploit this year.  Phishing awareness training programs were seen by many as the best defense against phishing, spearphishing and whaling exploits.  Something that was new this year was the reporting of so-called “malware-less” exploits that use “the built-in features of the operating system to turn it against itself without downloading recognizable files.”  The percentage of cybersecurity pros ranked threats as follows:

  • Phishing – 72%
  • Spyware – 50%
  • Ransomware – 49%
  • Trojan horse exploits – 47%
  • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) – 38%
  • Malware-less attacks – 32%
  • APT (Advanced Persistent Threats) – 25%

This study also ranked the top threat vectors as:

  • Email attachment or link – 74%
  • Infected website and drive-by downloads – 48%
  • Application vulnerabilities on user computers – 30%
  • Web application vulnerabilities – 27%

If you are responsible for the security of a business network, you may want to cxlick through to the full report.  There is also a video that is available.

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About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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