Learning & Development Asia 2024
Over 40% of top phishing scams at work come from HR-related email subjects

Over 40% of top phishing scams at work come from HR-related email subjects

A recent report noted that dress code changes, tax and healthcare updates, training notifications, and similar actions effectively deceive readers and prompt immediate responses.

Have you ever received an email from your HR team that seemed just too good to be true? 

Or have you fallen into the clutches or phishing scams? 

KnowBe4’s 2023 Phishing by Industry Benchmarking Report revealed that HR related email subjects account for 42% of phishing email subjects. 

The report also found that phishing emails posing as HR communications about dress code changes, tax and healthcare updates, training notifications, and similar topics have been able to effectively deceive employees. 

These emails can disrupt work, evoke quick responses, and lead employees to react without verifying the email's authenticity.

Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4 commented: "Emails coming from an internal department such as HR or IT are especially harmful to organisations since they appear to be coming from a trusted source and can convince employees to engage quickly before confirming their legitimacy, exposing the company to security vulnerabilities. 

"A well-trained workforce is therefore crucial in building a strong security culture and serves as the best defence in safeguarding organisations against preventable cyberattacks.”

Here is a breakdown of the top phishing email subjects globally: 

The report also highlighted an increase in personal phishing attacks involving topics such as tax, healthcare, and ApplePay, which have been found to threaten users' sensitive information. 

These attacks have been said to be effective as they prompt individuals to hastily respond to protect their privacy without first considering the credibility of the email. 

The report also found other ways that scammers prey on the innocent, such as: 

  • QR codes 
  • Vector types - pdf, html, word, excel and ppt attachments 

READ MORE: Most interesting out-of-office email responses we've seen recently 


Infographic: KnowBe4

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