Nearly three-quarters of firms now victims of email-based cyber attacks

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A majority of organizations in a recent survey said they have faced email-based attacks, such as account hijacking and spear phishing, in the last year.

The survey of 660 global IT professionals responsible for corporate email security, conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of security company Barracuda Networks, showed that about three quarters (74 percent) said 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 80 percent of the respondents said the cost of email breaches is increasing, and 66 percent said attacks have had a direct monetary cost on their organization in the past year. Nearly one quarter of respondents noted that attacks have cost their organization $100,000 or more.

Despite increased confidence in security measures and awareness among IT professionals compared with a year ago, concerns about phishing are rising as attack methods evolve to target victims with social engineering.

Spear phishing is widespread, with 43 percent of organizations having been the victim of such an attack in the past 12 months. More than three quarters of the organizations said their employees are not good at spotting suspicious emails.
There are growing concerns about insider threats, with 79 percent of IT professionals saying they are worried about attacks and breaches stemming from inside the organization.

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