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Engineering and R&D workers hit hardest by cyberattacks

(Image credit: Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

Cybercriminals are launching more targeted phishing attacks than before, with specific job roles being targeted, new research has found.

Phishing refers to the tactic of hackers targeting specific people within an organisation with the goal of extracting sensitive information or credentials, is extremely popular nowadays.

Now, a report from Proofpoint found that workers in research & development, as well as those in engineering, are the most heavily targeted group of employees, generally speaking.

The second most targeted group are low-level employees, followed by high-level management and executives.

Looking at how they’re attacked, the report says spoofing ‘soared’, with the number of attacks per company up 944 per cent on average, compared to the same quarter last year. Then, there’s the web-based social engineering attack, these grew 150 per cent in the same timeframe, as well.

Scamming people through social media also gained popularity – 442 per cent.

Banks, according to a separate report by Kaspersky, are almost always in the crosshairs of cybercriminals. Last year, there have been as many phishing attacks against companies in the financial sector, as they were in all of 2017 – across all industries.

Hackers usually target Brazil, as well as Portugal, Australia and others. Hackers are getting better at impersonating and businesses should remain vigilant, or risk huge losses trying to repair the damage.

Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.