Lookout mobile phishing report shows 2022 as being the worst on record for attacks


Lookout has released its Global State of Mobile Phishing report which found 2022 having the highest percentage of mobile phishing encounter rates ever, with an average of more than 30% of personal and enterprise users exposed to these attacks 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’s findings also include:

– The potential annual financial impact of mobile phishing to an organisation of 5,000 employees is nearly $4 million.
– Since 2021, mobile phishing encounter rates have increased roughly 10% for enterprise devices and more than 20% for personal devices.
– In 2022, more than 50% of personal devices were exposed to a mobile phishing attack every quarter.
– The percentage of users falling for multiple mobile phishing links in a year is increasing rapidly year over year.
– Organisations operating in highly regulated industries – including insurance, banking, legal, healthcare and financial services – were the most heavily targeted enterprises.
– Non-email based phishing attacks are growing rapidly, with vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing) and quishing (QR code phishing) increasing seven-fold in the second quarter of 2022.

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 organisations in every industry.

It is likely that the rise of remote work has contributed to this, as organisations relax bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to accommodate employees accessing corporate networks outside the traditional security perimeter.

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.

“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 organisations 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 organisations of any size.”

The Global State of Mobile Phishing report from Lookout is based on data and trends derived from Lookout’s ever-growing mobile dataset of security telemetry, which is built on graph-based machine intelligence that analyses data globally from more than 210 million devices, 175 million applications and ingests four million URLs daily.


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