Gartner Research

Mitigating the Risk of Phishing When Technical Security Controls Fail

Published: 29 March 2019

ID: G00381085

Analyst(s): Mario de Boer


Phishing attack prevention is far from perfect. Technical professionals must understand end user’s role in phishing detection and the human role of the incident responders during phishing response. Emerging technologies support users and incident responders with phishing detection and response.

Table Of Contents


  • The Phishing Challenge
    • Common Methods for Phishing
    • Hooking the Phish: When and Why Technical Prevention Fails
    • The Evolution of Phishing Attacks: No Bait, but Target and Spear
    • Common Goals for a Phisher
  • Recipient-Focused Phishing Detection and Response
    • Prework: Raising User Awareness on Phishing
    • End-User Analysis of Messages
    • End-User Response to Suspicious Messages
  • Operations-Driven Phishing Detection and Response
    • Trigger
    • Validation: Determining Message Disposition
    • Investigation: Analyzing the Context of the Attack
    • Incident Response: Mitigating the Phishing Attack
    • Preventing Repetition: Lower the Risk of Reoccurrence
    • Supporting Technologies
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Raise User Awareness
  • Deploy Tools to Support User Decisions
  • Raise Efficacy of Security Operations by Using the Right Technology

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