57% of SME small businesses are unprepared for a cyber phishing attack, despite the fact that 78% have been hit by a cyber security attack that started that way, a report shows.
Most cyber attacks can be traced back to a phishing email, but more than half of small businesses are unprepared to deal with email-based attacks, research has revealed
Security teams reported that they are struggling to respond to the number of suspicious emails being received, according to the latest European phishing response trends report by phishing defence firm Cofense.
Other key findings of the small business report include that the top security concern is phishing and email-related threats, with 41% of respondents saying their biggest anti-phishing challenge is poorly integrated security systems.
The UK reports the most suspicious emails each week across Europe with 23% reporting more than 500, followed by the Netherlands (22%), France (20%), Germany (18%) and Belgium (16%).
With phishing and email-related threats being the main security concern of the European-based survey respondents, the report said it is critical that businesses have an effective strategy to counter the attack vector, which is fully integrated with broader security solutions.
According to Cofense, it is paramount that phishing simulations are like the real thing and encourage reporting which, in turn, can not only stop a malicious email compromising an enterprise’s network, but can also give the incident response team a head start.
“The analysis of email-based attacks gives us extremely valuable insight into the security posture of European organisations,” said Rohyt Belani, co-founder and CEO of Cofense. “What we’re really looking at here is addressing human susceptibility and building human resiliency to work in concert with technology to combat security threats facing Europe.”
Cyber Security Phishing Dangers
- More than one million new phishing sites created each month.
- Phishing is no longer just a consumer problem, say experts. The scams are hurting companies’ reputations and bottom lines.
- Email is the number one entry point for data breaches, which includes targeted email attacks such as business email compromise and spear phishing.
- Targeted malware attacks and social engineering schemes such as phishing and whaling pose a growing security threat because cyber criminals are getting help from unwitting users.
Cyber attacks, particularly those on a scale that can siphon billions of euros from the financial system, involve a complex web of both victims and potential access points for cyber criminals to elevate the severity of an attack.
Phishing attacks, despite being among the most well-known cyber security attack vectors, are still consistently fooling companies and private individuals.
Phishing presents such a concern because it is the “spark that ignites a long line of malicious activity, creating a pipeline of infected systems and accessible data for threat actors to leverage in further criminal campaigns.
Small businesses need to engage with stringent educational campaigns around these issues across all levels of the organisation.
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