A cybersecurity survey carried out by Proofpoint discovered that 90 percent of global organisations were targeted with BEC and spear phishing attacks in 2019, reflecting cybercriminals’ continued focus on compromising individual end users. Seventy-eight percent also reported that security awareness training activities resulted in measurable reductions in phishing susceptibility.
The report examines global data from nearly 50 million simulated phishing attacks sent by Proofpoint customers over a one-year period, along with third-party survey responses from more than 600 information security professionals in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK.
“Effective security awareness training must focus on the issues and behaviours that matter most to an organisation's mission,” said Joe Ferrara, senior vice president and general manager of Security Awareness Training for Proofpoint.
“We recommend taking a people-centric approach to cybersecurity by blending organisation-wide awareness training initiatives with targeted, threat-driven education. The goal is to empower users to recognise and report attacks.”
End-user email reporting, a critical metric for gauging positive employee behavior, is also examined within this year’s report. The volume of reported messages jumped significantly year over year, with end users reporting more than nine million suspicious emails in 2019, an increase of 67 percent over 2018.
The increase is a positive sign for infosec teams, as there’s a trend toward more targeted, personalised attacks over bulk campaigns.
The report strongly recommended that users need to be increasingly vigilant to spot sophisticated phishing emails and reporting mechanisms must be put in place to inform IT personnel of potentially dangerous messages.
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