Security News

HacWare CEO: Phishing Is Big Business

C.J. Fairfield

‘We’re in the channel, we’re focused on growing and scaling,’ says Tiffany Ricks, CEO of HacWare. “We’re moving fast. We have to wear multiple hats. But the key thing to remember here is all businesses now are technology businesses. All businesses are vulnerable to phishing and other types of attacks. It’s super important to make sure that you‘re thinking about security training as a part of working and trying to protect the businesses that you support.’

What is the economic impact of phishing attacks?

The economic impact of phishing attacks is twofold. The number one reason a phishing attack happens and how you need to reduce your risk is user training. The continued impacts on phishing on MSPs and in the channel is because when a phishing attack happens 60 percent of those companies go out of business. What I‘m seeing is the intention of the cybercriminals, when they’re phishing, is to not only steal data but take businesses offline and to put them out of business. Insurance companies are now requiring, if you want to get cybersecurity insurance to protect your business from being liable when your customers experience a breach, you have to have something that‘s going to address phishing. Security awareness and security training is the number one thing. The impact to not addressing phishing properly is you probably won’t be able to get cyber insurance.

Also, we‘re seeing that companies, depending on the size of the company, when there’s an attack and it‘s ransomware that’s involved, the payout rate ranges. We‘ve seen some for smaller MSPs where it’s about a $100,000 payout, which is a big impact to your bottom line. We‘ve seen some payouts for ransomware at about $14 million, so phishing is big business for cybercriminals. The economy around phishing is huge and they have operation centers set up to make sure that their business grows. They have teams that are focused on making sure that they’re sending out these phishing attacks that are hard to spot. They have affiliates where they‘re paying others to help them get the resources from these targets, so it’s big business.


CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at

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