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Phishing attacks still a major concern for business

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Phishing attacks remain a global concern for organisations, with physical security and FM professionals among the most at risk through lack of knowledge.

That’s the opinion gathered from the latest 2019 Beyond the Phish report by cybersecurity company Proofpoint.

Based on data from 130 million questions answered by end users across 16 industries, the fourth annual report revealed that respondents answered one in four questions incorrectly, demonstrating a knowledge gap and need for increased cyber education.

Other key findings going that: 

  • Customer Service, Facilities, and Security employees are the least savvy when it comes to phishing threat knowledge, incorrectly answering an average of 25 percent of cybersecurity questions asked. As these are respondent-defined department designations, the Security department could include both physical security and cybersecurity.
  • Hospitality employees scored the lowest in three categories, including “Physical Security Risks,” in which 22 percent of questions were answered incorrectly.
  • Communications teams are the most savvy when it comes to phishing threats, with end users correctly answering 84 percent of questions.
  • End users in the Education and Transportation industries have the weakest phishing knowledge, on average, answering 24 percent of questions incorrectly across all categories.
  • Finance was the best performing industrywith end users answering 80 percent of all questions correctly.
  • End users in the Insurance industry delivered the best performancein three of the 14 categories analysed, specifically excelling in the “Avoiding Ransomware Attacks” category.

“Cybercriminals are experts at gathering personal information to launch highly targeted and convincing attacks against individuals,” said Amy Baker, vice president of Security Awareness Training Strategy and Development for Proofpoint. 

“Implementing ongoing and effective security awareness training is a necessary foundational pillar when building a strong culture of security. Educating employees about cybersecurity best practices is the best way to empower users to understand how to protect theirs and their employer’s data, making end users a strong last line of defence against cyber attackers.”

To download the 2019 Beyond the Phish report, and see a full list of industry comparisons click here: https://www.proofpoint.com/us/resources/threat-reports/beyond-phish

Image by Robinraj Premchand from Pixabay

Half of all phishing attacks originate from EMEA

960 719 Stuart O'Brien

A report published by NTT Security has revealed that over half (53%) of the world’s phishing attacks originated from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) analysed global threat trends from 1st October 2015 – 31st September 2016 and showed that of all phishing attacks worldwide, 38% came from the Netherlands, second only to the US (41%).

The data also revealed that nearly three-quarters (73%) of all malware globally was delivered to its victims because of a phishing attack.

The report highlights the latest ransomware, phishing and DDoS attack tends and the impact of these threats against organisations, with the UK the third most common source of attacks against EMEA, behind the US at 26% and France 11%.

In terms of top attack source countries, the US accounted for 63% with the UK following at 4% and China 3%.

Some of the biggest regional differences related to brute force attacks, which are commonly used to crack passwords. Of all brute force attacks globally, 45 per cent started in EMEA – more than the Americas (20 per cent) and Asia (7 per cent) combined. In addition, 45 per cent of brute force attacks that targeted EMEA customers also started in the region.

Dave Polton, Global Director of Innovation at NTT Security, is calling for more active collaboration between business, government and law enforcement agencies to tackle global threats and to ensure measures are in place that will have a long-lasting impact on global security.

“While phishing attacks affected organisations everywhere, EMEA unfortunately emerged as the top region for the source of these attacks,” said Polton. “These figures, combined with those for brute force attacks, should be of very serious concern for any organisation doing business in EMEA, especially with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner.

“Any organisation processing data belonging to EU citizens need to demonstrate that their information security strategy is robust.”

Other key EMEA figures:

In EMEA, over half (54%) of all attacks were targeted at just three industry sectors – Finance (20%), Manufacturing (17%) and Retail (17%)

Over 67% of malware detected within EMEA was some form of Trojan

Top services used in attacks against EMEA – File shares (45%), Websites (32%) and Remote administration (17%)

Frank Brandenburg, COO and Regional CEO, NTT Security, concludes: “We all know that no security plan is guaranteed, and there will always be some level of exposure, but defining an acceptable level of risk is important. Clients are starting to understand that by default every employee is part of their organisation’s security team, and businesses are now seeing the value in security awareness training, knowing that educating the end user is directly connected to securing their enterprise.

“Expanding cyber education and ensuring employees adhere to a common methodology, set of practices, and mind set are key elements. Clients see that assisting and coaching their employees (end users) on the proper usage of technology will only enhance the organisation’s overall security presence.”