Vigilant, nervous or battle-scarred: What's your email security persona?

65 per cent of IT professionals don't feel equipped to defend against email-based cyber attacks, according to the findings of a report carried out by email security and archiving company Mimecast.

The global study of 600 IT security professionals - Mimecast Business Email Threat Report 2016, Email Security Uncovered - also found that 64 per cent of respondents regard email as a major security threat and one third believe email is more vulnerable today than it was five years ago.

“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,” said Peter Bauer, chief executive officer, Mimecast.

"As the cyber threat becomes more grave, email attacks will only become more common and more damaging. It’s essential that executives, the C-suite in particular, realize that they may not be as safe as they think and take action. Our research shows there is work still to be done to be safe and we can learn a lot from the experience of those that have learnt the hard way."

Mimecast categorised respondents into five distinct "personas" based on their perceptions of data breach confidence. They are: The Vigilant, Equipped Veterans, Apprehensive, Nervous and Battle-Scarred. The breakdown and explanations are shown in the image below.

mimecast-shiver-grid

The biggest gaps between the most and least prepared respondents were found in budgets and C-suite involvement. Out of the IT security manager polled, only 15 per cent say their C-suite is extremely engaged in email security, while 44 per cent say their C-suite is only somewhat engaged, not very engaged, or not engaged at all.

Unsuprisingly, those respondents that felt more prepared have larger budgets allocated to email security. Specifically, 50 per cent more than IT managers who were less confident in their readiness to defend against an attack.

Image source: Shutterstock/bluebay