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Email compromise attacks bigger cause of business losses

Email-based social engineering attacks on whole workforce are ‘rising concern for organisations’ because they’re among most difficult to control, reports Mimecast cyber security survey.

Cyber Security Europe - Email compromise attacks bigger cause of business losses

Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks increased 67% in the last 12 months, with 73% of targeted organisations experiencing a direct loss of customers (28%), financial loss (29%) and data loss (40%).

According to respondents to Mimecast’s latest State of Email Security report, phishing attacks were the most prominent type of cyber attack suffered, with 94% of those polled having experienced phishing and spear phishing attacks in the previous 12 months, and 55% cited seeing an increase in phishing attacks over the same time period.

‘Because these highly-targeted attacks can tend to focus on key, c-suite level personnel, they can be incredibly embarrassing for victims,’ the report states. ‘Suddenly the spotlight is no longer on their outstanding professional portfolios, but instead on the negative actions of an employee or – worse yet – an executive of the targeted company.’

Not only are email-based attacks on the rise, but they’re affecting how confident people are in their organisation’s cyber security defences – and, ultimately, their ability to do their jobs, the report adds. According to its findings, 61% of respondents ‘believe that it is likely or inevitable their organisation will suffer a negative business impact from an email-borne attack this year [2019]’.

Mimecast’s study also found that business-disruption due to ransomware attacks is up 26% compared to 2018 figures. Forty-nine per cent of respondents noted that they’d had downtime for two-to-three days, whereas 31% experienced downtime for four-to-five days.

Research firm Vanson Bourne conducted the global survey of 1,025 IT decision. Participants were interviewed from December 2018 through to February 2019 across Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, along with Australia, and the United States.

More details:

https://www.mimecast.com/the-state-of-email-security-2019