sb-au logo
Story image

Rising costs of email attacks concerning for organisations


A new report from security solutions firm Barracuda has revealed email attacks are having a major impact on businesses, with ever-evolving security concerns proving a challenge for IT security professionals. 

The report, titled 2019 Email Security Trends and commissioned by Barracuda, surveyed global IT stakeholders to capture their experiences and attitudes about the current state of email security.

The survey includes responses from 660 executives, individual contributors and team managers serving in IT-security roles in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. Companies surveyed include small, mid-sized, and enterprise businesses in technology, financial services, education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, telecommunication, retail, and other industries. A wide range of questions captured hard data about phishing, insider threats and Office 365, as well as the related business impacts, security spending and costs of breaches. 

It found 74% of respondents say email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses, while 78% of organisations say the cost of email breaches is increasing.

The report revealed spear phishing is widespread, with 43% of organisations have been the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months.

Notably, more than three-quarters of organisations say their employees aren’t good at spotting suspicious emails.

Overall, the study indicates that while most IT professionals are more confident about their email security systems than they were a year ago, email attacks continue to have a significant impact on businesses. 

The report shows email attacks are having a direct business impact, and impacting the personal lives of IT security professionals, with 74% of respondents said that email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses. 

The most common effects cited were loss of employee productivity, downtime and business disruption, and damage to the reputation of the IT team.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported experiencing higher stress levels, worrying about potential email security even when they’re not at work, and being forced to work nights and weekends to address email security issues.

The report founds phishing and ransomware are top concerns, with 43% of organisations have been the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, breach costs and monetary losses are on the rise, with 78% of organisations said that the cost of email breaches is increasing, and 66% claimed that attacks have had a direct monetary cost on their organisation in the past year. 

Nearly a quarter of respondents advised that attacks have cost their organisation $100,000 or more.

According to the research, employees remain a major weak link in an organisation’s security defenses. More than three-quarters of organisations said their employees aren’t good at spotting suspicious emails.

There are growing concerns about insider threats and Office 365, the report says, with 79% of IT professionals said they are worried about attacks and breaches stemming from inside the organisation, and 92% of Office 365 users have security concerns

Based on the success and proliferation of email-based attacks, IT security professionals will need to stay focused on the evolution and escalation of phishing, ransomware, and other threats and improve email security that goes beyond the traditional gateway. 

Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - protecting data with user behaviour analytics
In this video, Forcepoint senior sales engineer and solutions architect Matthew Bant discusses the company's DLP solution, the importance of integrating compliance into security solutions, and why cybersecurity strategies should take a more people-based approach.More
Story image
Palo Alto Networks extends cloud native security platform with new modules
Palo Alto Networks has announced the availability of Prisma Cloud 2.0, including four new cloud security modules, thus extending its Cloud Native Security Platform (CNSP). More
Story image
Report reveals relationship between boardroom and cybersecurity investments
“While boards are definitely listening and stepping up with increased budget for cybersecurity, they tend to view any investment as a cost rather than adding business value."More
Story image
Surfshark rolls out WireGuard open source VPN protocol
When there is less code in a VPN, it is less susceptible to security vulnerabilities due to easier configuration and management, according to Surfshark.More
Story image
Gartner reveals the top strategic tech trends for 2021
“CIOs are striving to adapt to changing conditions to compose the future business - this requires the organisational plasticity to form and reform dynamically. Gartner’s top strategic technology trends for 2021 enable that plasticity.”More
Story image
Secureworks: Remote working exposes new security vulnerabilities
New vulnerabilities have been exposed as IT teams across the world respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.More