In use since the 1990s, phishing is a weaponized form of email and is one of the oldest types of cyberattacks. Phishing has become more sophisticated and is still a widespread and effective means of fraud. It tricks the recipient into believing it’s a legitimate message by masquerading as the victim’s bank, an online merchant, a friend, or a colleague from their place of business. Once gaining the recipient’s trust, the phishing email prompts them to download a malicious file or click on a link.

According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, almost one-third of all data breaches resulted from phishing. Despite the advancements of corporate email security software, 78 percent of cyber-espionage attacks began with a phishing email. Unfortunately, phishers are using commercially available templates and programming tools to produce increasingly sophisticated email scams.