Phishing remains primary gateway for cyber criminals

Phishing remains primary gateway for cyber criminals

UK-based specialist insurer Hiscox recently released its “Cyber Readiness Report 2022”. One key outcome: Phishing emails are still the main gateway by which cyber criminals gain access to company networks.

Out of the countries surveyed, U.S. businesses are most likely to pay a cyber ransom: 71% of those targeted paid on average, some $17,959 USD over a 12-month period. The most common method of entry for ransomware in the U.S. is phishing emails (60%). When it comes to attack vectors, websites are not just an important touchpoint for honest customers. U.S. companies also report the most attacks on their websites as the first point of entry (e.g., via DDoS) at 34%.

Also looking at the world as a whole, Hiscox identified several interesting trends. In seven out of eight of the countries investigated, companies see cyberattacks as the biggest threat to their businesses – even ahead of the pandemic, economic downturn, and shortage of skilled staff. The median (the point at which half of the given values lie below and above) cost for such an attack has risen by a staggering 29 percent to roughly 15,000 euros. For companies who consider themselves “cyber beginners”, the cost of an attack is two and a half times higher (when compared to companies that identify as experts). Ransomware attacks continued to surge – in 2022 nearly one out of five companies registered an attack (19 percent) compared to 16 percent the previous year.

European companies neglect email protection, too

Another figure demanding attention is included in the Praxisreport 2021/22 Mittelstand @ IT-Sicherheit, released by the “Deutschland sicher im Netz (DsiN)” initiative set up by a number of large German companies, organizations, and trade associations . According to the report, every second medium-sized enterprise in Germany (50 percent) goes without protection with respect to email attachments. This proportion is reported to have increased once again (by two percent) compared with pre-pandemic levels. What’s more, only 18 percent now use encryption or digital signatures, four percent lower than in the previous year. 

“Overall, the results indicate a negative trend regarding measures to safeguard email communication,” the report declares. “This trend at first appears surprising, especially in the face of ever-increasing risks, however it can be explained by companies disregarding additional security measures due to the increased use of email communication from the home office.”  To this extent, there is now an increased need to safeguard systems against these risks by way of IT security measures.

How to protect your company from phishing attacks

To add the necessary phishing protection, we recommend our Secure Email Platform – the comprehensive, best-in-class solution for your email. These highly reliable and secure business email services include email security and continuity, transactional and marketing email, real-time monitoring and analytics, workflow, and routing services. Should you wish to find out more, please visit our website or directly get in touch with your local Retarus representative.

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