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New Report Highlights Impact Email Attacks are Having on Businesses

A new report from email security vendor Barracuda has revealed the extent to which email attacks are negatively impacting businesses and how many are struggling to deal with email-based threats.

For its 2019 Email Security Trends report, Barracuda commissioned a survey of 660 IT stakeholders in the Americas, APAC, and EMEA regions to find out more about the threats they were facing, the cost of email-based attacks on their organization, how they rated their email security defenses, and their experiences and attitudes to insider threats and Office 365.

The survey confirmed that email attacks are having a direct business impact. 74% of respondents said email attacks have had a major impact on their business and 78% said the cost of mitigating email attacks are increasing. The attacks often result in employee downtime, business disruption, loss of business, and damage to the reputation of the IT department. The attacks increase the stress level for IT professionals, as they find themselves having to work longer hours, including evenings and weekends to deal with the attacks. IT professionals often find themselves worrying about email security when outside work.

The biggest threats are seen to be phishing and ransomware. Phishing attacks are now increasingly targeted and harder to block. 43% of respondents said they had experienced a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months. When email-threats are not blocked by gateway solutions and are delivered to inboxes, there is a high chance of them leading to an account compromise. Three quarters of respondents admitted company employees are not good at detecting suspicious emails.

The cost of mitigating data breaches has increased considerably. Almost a quarter of respondents said their organization has lost more than $100,000 in the past 12 months due to email attacks. 66% said the attacks had had a direct monetary cost on their organization.

Insider threats are also a growing concern. 79% of respondents were worried about breaches from inside their organization and Office 365 security was also a major concern. 92% of respondents said they had security concerns about their Office 365 environment.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.