Story image

Do we need cybersecurity training? Phishing remains problem area

There is a need for ongoing education in cybersecurity to significantly reduce the risks of attacks, according to the findings of a new report from Proofpoint. 

In its fourth annual Beyond the Phish report, which examines end-user understanding of a broad range of cybersecurity topics and best practices, it was revealed that end users incorrectly answered one in four questions about phishing.

The report features analysis of data related to nearly 130 million cybersecurity questions and offers insights into employee knowledge levels across 14 categories, 16 industries, and more than 20 commonly used department classifications.

“Cybercriminals are experts at gathering personal information to launch highly targeted and convincing attacks against individuals,” says Amy Baker, vice president of Security Awareness Training Strategy and Development for Proofpoint. 

“Implementing ongoing and effective security awareness training is a necessary foundational pillar when building a strong culture of security. Educating employees about cybersecurity best practices is the best way to empower users to understand how to protect theirs and their employer’s data, making end users a strong last line of defense against cyber attackers," she explains.

Phishing remains a leading concern for organisations worldwide. Overall, one in every four questions in the “Identifying Phishing Threats” and “Protecting Data Throughout Its Lifecycle” categories were answered incorrectly. 

The report signifies that while employees have become more familiar with the hallmarks of phishing attacks and the need to protect data, knowledge gaps remain that cybercriminals can exploit.  The report found that 83% of global organisations experienced phishing attacks in 2018, underscoring the urgent need to educate end users.

Additional 2019 Beyond the Phish key findings include:

  • Communications was the best performing department, with end users correctly answering 84 percent of questions.
  • Finance was the best performing industry, with end users answering 80% of all questions correctly.
  • End users in the Insurance industry delivered the best performance in three of the 14 categories analysed, specifically excelling in the “Avoiding Ransomware Attacks” category.
  • Customer Service, Facilities, and Security were among the worst performing departments, incorrectly answering an average of 25% of cybersecurity questions asked. As these are respondent-defined department designations, the Security department could include both physical security and cybersecurity.
  • End users in the Education and Transportation industries struggled the most, on average, answering 24% of questions incorrectly across all categories.
  • Hospitality employees scored the lowest in three categories, including “Physical Security Risks,” in which 22% of questions were answered incorrectly.

"Organisations need to be persistent and thorough in their security awareness training programs considering the end-user behaviours that influence and impact overall security postures," says Baker. 

"This annual report reiterates the need to go beyond the use of phishing tests to evaluate end-user susceptibility and cyber threat knowledge.

“It’s important to remember that not all security incidents stem from an attack; many issues result from limited awareness and poor security practices. Our research has shown a significant increase in safe behaviours when organisations take a well-managed, continuous approach to training across all cyber topics," she explains.

Story image
16 Sep
NEXTDC deploys Genetec physical security systems
Data center provider NEXTDC has signed a contract with physical security firm Genetec to expand its access control and security systems in order to deliver an enhanced customer experience.More
Story image
05 Sep
Proofpoint and CrowdStrike partner on endpoint protection integration
In the first technology integration, Proofpoint will check potentially malicious attachments with CrowdStrike Falcon Intel and will add new hashes to the customer’s custom intelligence.More
Story image
02 Sep
Over 50% of incident response requests occur after damage complete – Kaspersky
It is often assumed that incident response is only needed in cases when damage from a cyber-attack has already occurred and there is a need for further investigation.More
Story image
05 Sep
Why there is a critical need to fix network comms security - Kemp
TLS 1.3 is designed to solve many of the vulnerabilities that led to attacks on previous TLS versions, as well as to improve the performance of encrypted communications.More
Story image
16 Sep
Soft skills increasingly important for IT career growth – SolarWinds survey
SolarWinds conducted a survey and had responses from 177 technology professionals from across the globe, including those from public and private sectors.More
Story image
19 Sep
Zscaler and CrowdStrike partner on cloud and endpoint protection
CrowdStrike’s AI-powered Threat Graph will integrate with Zscaler’s cloud security platform to provide customers with real-time threat detection and automated policy enforcement.More