Only 7% of UK Firms Regularly Train Employees to Spot Phishing Emails
As many as 54 percent of organisations in the UK have reported an increase in email-based phishing attacks launched by cyber-criminals, with such attacks being launched across the entire organisational hierarchy from the C-suite, the finance department, HR staff members, to even trusted third-party vendors.
Email has, over the years, become an important vector for cyber-criminals, allowing them to carry out a number of malicious activities from distributing computer viruses, targeting organisations with malware and ransomware, and carrying out phishing attacks either to obtain credentials or to lure employees into transferring money or divulging enterprise secrets.
The use of email by cyber-criminals has, in fact, become so rampant and audacious that in the past twelve months, 92 percent of ransomware attacks globally were delivered by email, resulting in long email downtime in affected organisations across the world.
According to security firm Mimecast who carried out a survey of 800 global IT decision-makers to gauge the effectiveness of email-based attacks, the success of such attacks is largely due to the fact that less than one in ten organisations in the UK and beyond continuously train employees on how to spot cyber-attacks.
"Email-based attacks are constantly evolving and this research demonstrates the need for organisations to adopt a cyber-resilience strategy that goes beyond a defence-only approach. This is more than just an ‘IT problem,’ said Peter Bauer, chief executive officer of Mimecast.
"It requires an organisation-wide effort that brings together many stakeholders, puts the right security solutions in place and empowers employees – from the C-suite to the reception desk -- to be the last line of defence," he added.
Nearly 40 percent of IT decision-makers interviewed by Mimecast told the firm that their CEO undervalued the role of email security as a key element of their security programme, despite the fact that cyber-criminals have made effective use of emails to lure employees into divulging sensitive data.
C-Suite staff are also believed to be among the most vulnerable to email-based attacks. According to the IT decision-makers, 31 percent of C-level employees are likely to have accidentally sent sensitive data to the wrong person in the last year compared to just 22 percent of general employees.
This could be a direct result of the lack of training imparted to employees on how to spot cyber-attacks. In the UK alone, only 7 percent of organisations continuously train employees, with 61 percent performing training just once a year. Globally, 11 percent of organisations continuously train employees on how to spot cyber-attacks, 24 percent offer monthly training, and 52 percent perform training only quarterly or once a year.
According to Mimecast, the lack of continuous training is because 33 percent of decision-makers want to focus on increased investment in technology and 29 percent want to see improved business processes. Instead, enterprises must ensure that upper management staff are trained first to set the tone of a company's security culture, that cyber-security is placed into the function that manages overall risk mitigation for the organisation, and that security controls and risk management programmes are benchmarked against peer organisations on a regular basis.
The effectiveness of email-based attacks is also boosted by the fact that in 61 percent of organisations worldwide, infected users spread infections to devices used by other employees via infected email attachments or malicious URLs. Therefore, imparting continuous cyber-security training to employees will go a long way in ensuring that infections are limited to affected systems and not allowed to spread across all devices.
While email is one of the most preferred vectors for hackers to target organisations with ransomware, it is also used frequently to launch phishing attacks either to obtain credentials or to lure employees into transferring money or divulging enterprise secrets.
In the past twelve months, 40 percent of organisations worldwide have seen an increase in the volume of impersonation fraud requesting a wire transaction, while 39 percent have seen the volume of requests for confidential data increase. This, coupled with human error, ensures that organisations' secrets are easily obtained by third parties without having to steal such details physically.
For example, 31 percent of IT decision-makers said their C-Suite staff sent sensitive data via email to third parties by accident, 22 percent said such mistakes were committed by low-level employees, 20 percent said sensitive data was shared via email in response to a phishing email by employees, and a similar number said C-Suite staff also fell for phishing emails and shared sensitive data with criminals.
In order to achieve such a high rate of success, cyber criminals often impersonate trusted third-party vendors, company employees, as well as CEOs. Such impersonation has resulted in 32 percent of organisations suffering data loss, 25 percent experiencing reputational damage, and 20 percent suffering direct financial loss.
"We all know that minimising cyber-risk is about much more than just having the right technology in place. It’s also about services, people and processes. With cyber-attacks increasing, all organisations need to do more to put all employees in the best possible position to help reduce cyber risk," said Kirill Kasavchenko, principle security technologist, NETSCOUT Arbor, to SC Magazine UK.
"There are instances where deploying more technology isn’t the answer. Sometimes you need to start with your workforce and help them play a more active role in spotting and addressing cyber-threats. This research really hammers home the reality that many employees remain unprepared. Dealing with cyber-threats is a continuous process, so performing cyber security training just once a year simply isn’t enough to adequately reduce business risk.
"Improving training is essential, and getting this right can help nurture a good cyber-security culture across the whole organisation. One of the key elements of that is being attentive to the technologies that we use every day. For example, email is something we access throughout the day – sending hundreds of emails across the week – so it can be easy to become complacent to the security risks at hand. Shifting to a more cautious mindset can help employees act as an extra barrier to stop hackers in their tracks," he added.
- Information Security Risk Consultant, HMG, Public sector
A Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant is needed for a long term project in the Yorkshire area. This is a Security consultancy role so travel to other client site locations across the country will be expected. The Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant MUST have current security clearance and ideally have a breath of information and technology security experience. Broad knowledge across IT transformation, Cloud is also key. Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant should be versed in working within the public sector HMG environments and be experienced in conducting security risk assessments on sizable IT systems. Broad experience across GRC, ISO27001, NIST is key. Career progression, personal development and excellent training provided. All details kept in the strictest of confidence Salary: £55,000 Location: Yorkshire Ref: GM7720 (Cyber Security Jobs, Information Security Jobs, IT Security Jobs, Cyber Security Jobs in Yorkshire)
- Greenfield opportunity SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead
- £85,000+ Base
Exclusive Greenfield opportunity to DCL Search & Selection. We are looking for an experienced SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead to build a NEW Security Operation Centre (SOC) / Threat hunting service within an existing security consultancy. This is a brand new service offering for the client. The successful SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead must, therefore, have previous experience in building a SOC / Threat hunting (IR) service from the beginning. Everything including, but not limited to; selection of the systems, platforms, kitting out the physical office space. Customisation, setting the policies, playbooks, go to market collateral, recruitment (through DCL obviously) establish processes, management of the team, service delivery, refinement, development etc. Essentially the end to end creation of the capability and then the day to day management and expansion of the service. An in-depth technical background is essential, experience across SOC SIEM/ Threat Hunting (IR) tools, processes, techniques, operational etc The goal is to create, spin up and deliver a SOC/threat hunting (IR) offering to clients ASAP in 2020. Investment and board sign off approved. Apply today for more information or contact me directly on Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com or 07884666351. Candidates must be UK based and commutable to Bracknell. Sponsorship can not be provided to Non-EU Candidates. Ref CH7713 £85,000+ Base
- IT Managed Services Account Director
- Up to £80,000 + Double OTE
IT Managed Services Account Director We are currently working with a growing multi managed service provider who specialises in Cloud & Connectivity services who are currently looking for an IT Managed Services Account Director in London. The IT Managed Services Account Director will be responsible for selling (Increase revenue, develop pipeline etc.) into our client’s current enterprise customers selling public cloud solutions. The IT Managed Services Account Director should have Current experience selling public cloud solutions (preferably Microsoft Azure) into enterprise customers. Currently working for an IT managed services business Commutable to London, Home working is available (Non-EU candidates are not able to be sponsored). Consistent tenure in current and previous positions. Ref BD7703 Salary: Up to £80,000 + Double OTE (Cloud Jobs, Cloud Computing Jobs, Cloud Sales Jobs, Azure Jobs)
- Service Delivery Lead (Data Centre)
- Up to £60,000 Base
A State of the Art Data Centre business are looking for a Service Delivery Lead-in Wiltshire. The Service Delivery Lead will be responsible for maintaining and improving current services to our client's customers. The Service Delivery Lead will also be responsible for a service desk team (reviews, hiring, training etc.) Other responsibilities include: Acting as a senior point of escalation for any customer incidents making sure these are raised quickly and efficiently Root cause analysis Maintain and improve ITIL disciplines Experience required ITIL v3 Certified Current experience within a Data Centre / Data Center Environment Current experience within a Senior Service Desk role. Candidates must be UK based. Sponsorship is not available for Non-EU candidates. Ref BD7701 Up to £60,000 Base (Data Centre Jobs, Data Center Jobs, Service Delivery Jobs)