What common cyberattacks do companies routinely ignore?

Blog / What common cyberattacks do companies routinely ignore?

Phishing attacks are common cyberattacks and not to be underestimated.

Email has been around for a long, long time. Its origins date back over 60 years to the 1960s. Email, in the form we are familiar with today was developed in 1980. Younger readers of this newsletters may not remember a time when email was uncommon, but it really didn’t start to gain widespread business use until the mid-1990s. In fact, many of us still remember a time when it didn’t even exist.

In other words, email really hasn’t been around very long. Put it all together and you get a service that’s widely used but not well understood. In most organizations it’s common practice to setup new employees with an email address, yet there are no questions asked in the interview about cybersecurity and email skills.

The other problem is that people who don’t understand email usually also assume traditional spam checks are effective at detecting phishing. It’s hard to state how incredibly wrong this assumption is. The most effective spam filtering checks are predominantly based on hard facts about the email like:

  • the IP/domain of the sender,
  • the SPF/DKIM/DMARC checks on the sender, and
  • attachment details like size or file type.

These checks will catch the overwhelming majority of spam. Inspecting the contents of the email is how you detect the left over 1%.

This has a lot to do with spam, but what does it have to do with common cyberattacks like phishing?

The reason that detecting phishing emails is so difficult is because phishing detection begins where spam detection ends .Although spam and phishing attacks occur over the same medium—email—phishing detection is 100% based on the contents of the email. Also, the barrier for entry into this criminal market is incredibly low and simply requires a bad guy to have access to a mail server (cheap to buy and even cheaper to rent from a cloud service) and a list of emails. This has not gone unnoticed by the attackers. I’ve been the IT security guy at TRINUS for six years now, and at least 50% of the phishing incidents I’ve investigated for customers over that time have occurred within the past year.

Phishing detection isn’t something you prevent with spam filtering, yet most organizations don’t bother to take basic steps to inform their employees about it, let alone invest in the systems to detect it. Sadly the only time phishing is considered a problem is after something has gone horribly wrong.

This Shakespearean quote comes from the play Titus Andronicus; “If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.”

If you’d like help preparing for or recovering from phishing or other common cyberattacks, contact the security experts at TRINUS for some stress-free IT.


Be kind, courtesy your friendly neighbourhood cyber-man.

/Partners /Systems /Certifications

TRINUS is proud to partner with industry leaders for both hardware and software who reflect our values of reliability, professionalism and client-focused service.