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Phishing attacks hit a huge number of businesses last year

phishing
(Image credit: Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

In the past year, almost three-quarters (73 percent) of businesses suffered a data breach as a result of a successful phishing campaign. The trend can be partly attributed to remote working, as businesses struggle to maintain visibility and protect their remote workers, a new report from Egress suggests.

Based on a poll of 500 IT leaders and 3,000 employees in the US and the UK, the report states that more than half (53 percent) of IT leaders reported an increase in cybersecurity incidents that were caused by phishing. Furthermore, half of the leaders expect challenges along the way, as they try to prevent breaches caused by malicious email attacks.

Commenting on the findings, the company’s VP of Threat Intelligence, Jack Chapman, said businesses were being “bombarded” by sophisticated phishing attacks, especially since remote working has made employees far more vulnerable. 

“With many organizations planning for a remote or hybrid future, phishing is a risk that must remain central to any security team’s plans for securing their workforce,” he said.

Egress also found that, besides the usual consequences of a data breach (loss of business, tarnished reputation etc.), there is also a “human cost” of phishing. In almost a quarter (23 percent) of organizations, employees that suffered the phishing attack either left the company voluntarily, or were fired.