A new survey of 1,000 UK office workers has revealed almost 60% are burdened with spam mail on a daily basis, with 6% of respondents receiving more than 10 bogus emails a day.
The study, commissioned by anti-phishing training firm PhishMe, found that office workers in the UK are being swamped with phishing emails looking to trick the recipient into revealing private information.
These emails aren’t just a risk to private security but also the integrity of the company’s network, which could be compromised if risky attachments are opened or links are clicked on. If the user responds to the emails in question the hacker could get access to the corporate network to acquire data such as usernames, passwords or R&D information.
Scott Greaux, vice-president of product management and services at PhishMe, said: “Nearly 60% of employees receive phishing emails every day, so clearly technical controls are failing to stop these messages as they pass through the system.
“They end up in users’ inboxes and, for many companies, it is purely down to luck if that employee responds.”
If the worse case scenario does happen, employees could return to work without either them or others at the company knowing their security has been compromised. Mr Greaux said user education is essential in adding “human sensors” to an organisation’s security infrastructure to improve overall security.
Similar research has recently found that spear phishing attacks – attacks that target specific people at enterprises with the aim of gaining a foothold into the corporate network – are at the core of most targeted attacks. Trend Micro found that 91% of targeted attack data collected between February and September 2012 involved such phishing methods.