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An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Today, researchers at security service edge provider, Netskope, published the Netskope Cloud and Threat Report: Global Cloud and Malware Trends, which found that phishing downloads rose 450% over the past 12 months, and highlighted that attackers are using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank malicious PDF files on search engines. The report's findings show that phishing attempts are constantly evolving, and attackers aren't just targeting employees through their email inboxes; they're also using popular search engines like Google and Bing. The increase in phishing attacks and the growing popularity of SEO techniques among cybercriminals highlights the need for enterprises to provide their employees with security awareness training so they're prepared to spot threats and not at risk of handing over sensitive information. When it comes to defending against these SEO-driven attacks, [Ray Canzanese, director of Netskope's Threat Labs] highlights several methods that security teams can use to protect employees. One of the most effective is to use a solution that can decrypt and scan web traffic for malicious content. At the same time, security teams should encourage users to inspect all links they click on, and to exercise caution if the link takes them to an unfamiliar website. In the event an employee does click on a malicious PDF, they can expect to see a fake captcha at the top of the first page, followed by text on other pages. In these scenarios, users should close the file, delete it from the device and report it to the security team ASAP. Canzanese also notes that it's important for users to report malicious URLs that feature on popular search engines to help the provider unlist them from the site and prevent other users from falling victim to a scam.