British Council, the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has been hit by more than 10 million email attacks “in the lead up to Brexit” the organisation has confirmed.
According to Nimbus Hosting, which obtained the information via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, British Council blocked a total of 10,336,631 malicious emails last year. It also intercepted or blocked almost 200,000 emails that it suspected carried malware such as worms, Trojan horses or ransomware.
Finally, it blocked some 15,000 phishing emails, which tried to scam British Council employees into giving away login credentials and other important information.
Another 10 million emails were flagged as spam. British Council also believes these could have contained malware as well.
Nimbus Hosting’s MD, Tim Dunton, stresses the importance of employee vigilance, saying that just one email coming through could spell disaster for the company.
“All it takes is for one hoax email to fall through an email systems’ imperfect filtration system before an organisation must face the consequences of a severe breach of customer information,” he said.
Dunton added that all organisations like the British Council need to have cybersecurity solutions and robust procedures in place in order to protect themselves.