Some 65% of businesses not well guarded against email-based cyber attacks – Survey

Cyber fraudA global survey by Mimecast, an international email security and email cloud archiving company, has found that 65 per cent of businesses are ill-equipped to defend against email-based cyber attacks.

Mimecast’s “Business email threat report 2016: Email security uncovered” which surveyed 600 IT security professionals, found that while 64 per cent regard email as a major cyber security threat to their business, 65 percent do not feel fully equipped or up to date to reasonably defend against email-based attacks.

The threat of email hacks against businesses is massive as the use of email is an integral part of majority of businesses.

Of the 600 surveyed by Mimecast, only 35 per cent feel confident about their level of preparedness against hacks and data breaches.

Of the 65 percent who don’t feel fully prepared against future potential attacks, almost half have experienced such attacks in the past.

The report also highlights, few have taken steps toward email security.

Although 83 per cent of all respondents highlight email as a common attack vector, one out of ten report not having any kind of email security training in place. Among the least-confident respondents, 23 per cent attest to lacking any supplementary security measures.

“Our cyber-security is under attack and we depend on technology and email in particular, in all aspects of business. So it’s very disconcerting to see that while we might appreciate the danger, many companies are still taking too few measures to defend themselves against email-based threats in particular,” Peter Bauer, Chief Executive Officer of Mimecast said.

According to the CEO who is also the co-founder of the international company, business executives, especially the C-suite (Chief Executives), need to realize that “they may not be as safe as they think”, and to protect themselves, as more serious email attacks will only become more common.

Budgets and the involvement of Chief Executives, were the biggest gaps found between the most and least prepared respondents.

Among the IT security managers who feel most prepared, 83 per cent say that their C-suite is engaged with email security.

However, of all the IT security managers surveyed, only 15 per cent say their C-suite is extremely engaged in email security, while 44 percent say their C-suite is only partially engaged, not very engaged, or not engaged at all in email security

The research also found an association between budgeting and security: those who allocate a higher percentage of their IT security budgets toward email security, feel more secure against email hacks.

According to the study, IT security managers who feel secure, allocate budgets to email security that are about 50 per cent higher compared to managers who are less confident against email hacks.

From the findings, the study points to allocating 10.4 per cent of the total IT budget toward email security, as the ideal intersection between email security confidence and spending.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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