MarkMonitor, the leader in online corporate identity protection, today announced the availability of Phishing Readiness and Response, the latest addition to its comprehensive fraud prevention product line.
The new, cost-effective solution is designed for smaller financial institutions that, until now, have been phished infrequently or have limited in-house resources to address online fraud. With this offering, these organizations are able to have escalation and operational procedures in place in the event of an attack and can invoke MarkMonitor's 24x7 global phish blocking and shutdown services once an attack has been detected. The solution also provides MarkMonitor's Early Warning System, which automatically alerts financial institutions of potential phish sites while they are under construction and before they become operational.
Small- to mid-sized financial institutions have experienced the fastest growth in phishing attacks in the last six months, according to data provided to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) by MarkMonitor's 24x7 Antifraud Operations Center (AOC). In January 2006, MarkMonitor reports that phishing attacks aimed at financial institutions with less than $500 million in assets were up 753% accounting for 6% of all phishing attacks. Six months earlier this segment accounted for just 1% of all attacks. Credit unions, in particular, experienced an 845% increase in phishing attacks and accounted for 12% of all phishing attacks in January, compared with only 2% in mid-2005. Overall, phishing attacks for all financial institutions were up 50% in the six months ending January 2006.
"We're seeing an acceleration of a trend that we spotted early last year," said Dave Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). "As most large institutions have already taken action to combat online fraudulent scams, phishers are moving downstream to smaller, easier targets, such as regional banks and small- to mid-sized credit unions. MarkMonitor's solution to address the specific needs of small- to medium-sized financial institutions is timely since these segments are being more aggressively phished."
MarkMonitor's Phishing Readiness and Response solution enables financial institutions to be prepared for an attack and take swift action if and when one occurs. The new solution includes the following services:
Readiness: MarkMonitor employs its Early Warning System to alert financial institutions to potential domain-based phish attacks before they become operational. Domain-based phish now account for 70% of all phishing scams, up from 47% a year ago, according to MarkMonitor's AOC. MarkMonitor's solution also includes Identity Tracker which enables an institution to identify other fraudulent sites owned by the same phisher and to be on alert for other possible attacks. These services, coupled with having escalation and operational procedures in place, enable financial institutions to prevent phish attacks and rapidly respond when an attack occurs.
Rapid Investigation and Response: Once a phishing attack has been detected, MarkMonitor's 24x7 AOC validates the attack and initiates its world-class shutdown services across more than 80 countries. Fluent in 22 languages, MarkMonitor's anti-fraud experts leverage relationships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and registrars around the world to shut down phish sites in less than 90 minutes on average, compared to the industry average uptime of 5.5 days. In addition, MarkMonitor delivers information about confirmed phish attacks to the top four ISPs - AOL, Yahoo!, Earthlink and MSN - for blocking as well as to Microsoft for use by the company's Microsoft Phishing Filter and SmartScreen Technology.
"Smaller financial institutions are increasingly under attack by phishers, and it's no longer a matter of "if" an institution will be a target but "when"," said Mark Shull, CEO of MarkMonitor. "Small- to mid-sized institutions are more vulnerable to these types of attacks than larger institutions, as they have limited resources to deal with the threat. Our Phishing Readiness and Response solution prepares smaller banks and credit unions for the inevitable attack and provides assurance that they're ready to take aggressive action when an attack does occur."
MarkMonitor's Phishing Readiness and Response solution is complementary to MarkMonitor's end-to-end, fully outsourced Managed Services solution which provides around-the-clock analysis and near real-time detection of phishing scams for institutions phished more frequently. On a daily basis, over 12 million suspicious events - from emails, websites, domain name registrations, message boards, etc. - are filtered through MarkMonitor's proprietary anti-fraud engine to rapidly hone in on the most highly suspect sites for final confirmation by MarkMonitor's frontline experts.