Monday 30 September 2019 12:01 am

Trying to spot phishing emails ‘like gambling on roulette’, report finds

Fraudulent emails pose the greatest cyber threat to businesses, as the chances of an employee spotting one are extremely slim, according to a report published today.

Cybersecurity wonks said that employees’ inability to identify malicious messages rendered email the most vulnerable access point for most companies.

Read more: Hackers ‘tried to steal Airbus secrets’ in targeted cyber attacks

The report, co-authored by poker champion Liv Boeree, stated the chance of an employee spotting a phishing email was as slim as hitting a specific number on a roulette wheel.

“People’s use of and reliance on email is businesses’ greatest security vulnerability,” said Morten Brogger, chief executive of communications platform Wire. 

“More secure modes of communication and collaboration with end-to-end encryption need to become the standard as email recedes into the past.”

While the report identified email as the greatest threat to business, it revealed costly ransomware attacks remain a significant risk.

The odds of suffering a denial of service attack, in which hackers take a company’s website offline by flooding its servers with traffic, are now 50/50 – akin to tossing a coin – according to the report.

Read more: City police chief urges banks to report cyber attacks after Wannacry ‘silence’

Overall, the research found that businesses are as likely to go bust as a result of a cyber attack as a startup is to collapse due to a lack of funding.

“To see businesses fail to put the best cybersecurity measures in place, such as a secure alternative to email, when the return on investment is so clearly beneficial, is the opposite of good risk management,” said Boeree. “It’s more akin to the behaviour of a delusional problem gambler.”

Main image credit: Wire