By Joseph Roy of Hammrtech

CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Cybercrime cost the world economy approximately $5.2 trillion in 2019. For some perspective, the entire federal budget for the United States in 2019 was $4.4 trillion. It’s hard to imagine anything outpacing government spending, but cybercrime is doing exactly that.

So how do cybercriminals commit their crimes? According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), in 2019 they tracked 114,702 phishing scams, as compared to only 38,218 data breaches. Attackers and hackers are not relying on sophisticated tools to gain access to your computer.  They are relying on you!

What is Phishing? Phishing happens when an attacker pretends to be a trusted entity (such as your bank) and sends you an email that looks legitimate.  This email usually has a link for you to click and takes you to a web page that looks like it belongs to the trusted entity and requests your username and password.  Once you enter your credentials, you usually get some kind of login error and can’t proceed.  However, the attacker now has your credentials and has access to your account. In the past the only real defense was a hyper-aware workforce monitoring and watching suspicious emails. Without the aid of a technological solution, this vector of attack has made BIG money for criminals over the last few years.

Today is different and many things concerning technology have changed. Security system innovation has resulted in progress being made to counter this criminal practice. The first major change was made in 2011, which implemented the use of Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM). This allows email servers to check how valid the sender of the email is.  This reduces the number of phishing emails that get to your inbox.

Along with this great advancement, we have also seen the tech giants start to notice. For example, Microsoft offers “Safe Links”, which scans hyperlinks in emails to ensure that they are linking to a legitimate website. This is the most effective advancement to prevent phishing to date.

While phishing remains a large threat that is sure to last, with the proper tools and the proper user training, this attack vector can be effectively mitigated. If you would like to know more about how to use these tools to protect your business, please reach out to me at

About the Author: My name is Joseph Roy and I am a veteran and a Campbell County resident with over eight years of experience in the IT community. I work for Hammrtech, LLC, a locally owned and operated business in Caryville.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/22/2020-6AM)