Email attacks: enduring, diverse, and disruptive Email is a top target for cyberattack. These attacks continue to evolve, harnessing machine learning to take advantage of the trust between colleagues and companies and to bypass basic security measures.
Barracuda’s research team has identified 13 email threat types that companies need to defend against. Our international survey into email trends provides an overview of the prevalence, impact and costs associated with email attacks in the last 12months.
Overall, 75% of the organizations surveyed had fallen victim to at least one successful email attack in the last 12 months. The impact of those attacks was wide ranging but invariably disruptive and costly, including downtime and business disruption (affecting 44% of those surveyed), the loss of sensitive data (43%) and damage to brand reputation (41%).
Different industries were affected in different ways. Financial services organizations lost valuable data and money to the criminals, while for healthcare the costs of quickly restoring systems were significant.
Manufacturing was particularly affected by the disruption of business operations. Companies with more than half their employees working remotely faced higher levels of security risk and attack costs.
For 82% of respondents, the costs associated with an email attack have risen over the last year and now stand at more than $1 million on average for the most expensive attack.
Many of the organizations surveyed felt they were not fully prepared to deal with top security threats such as malware/viruses (34%), ransomware (27%) and even simple threats like spam (28%).
But it is not all bad news. The survey also found that 26% overall had increased their email security investments, and 89% felt their systems and data are more secure than 12 months ago.
Growing awareness and understanding of email risks and the need for robust protection is a positive starting point for email security in 2023.