independent

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Datapac survey on 'phishing scams' reveals large scale of this cyber crime

Around 14% of Irish office workers have fallen victim to phishing scams in Ireland
Around 14% of Irish office workers have fallen victim to phishing scams in Ireland

Enniscorthy based technology solutions company has revealed that around 14% of Irish office workers, approximately 185,000 people, have fallen victim to phishing scams in Ireland.

Phishing is a tactic used by cyber-criminals which involves sending emails that appear to come from genuine sources, encouraging users to reveal confidential information such as banking details or sensitive company data. Phishing can have a major impact on the victim and their company, with hackers gaining a foothold into the corporate system. This can lead to a breach of customer data, the loss of confidential company information, and could leave organisations vulnerable to fines under GDPR.

The survey, undertaking in conjunction with Sophos, reveals that millennials, aged from 23 to 41, are most confident in their ability to detect an email scam. Just over 14% of this group said they are not confident they could detect a fraudulent phishing email, while this figure rises to 17% for generation X, those aged from 42 to 53, and 26% for baby boomers, those aged over 54.

Conversely, the findings show that more than twice as many millennial have fallen victim to a phishing scam than members of the other age group.

'Despite millennial' confidence in their ability to spot an email scam, they were in fact found to have been victims most often,' said Datapac General Manager Karen O'Connor. 'This confidence may stem from complacency and emphasises the need for employers to provide cybersecurity training and ongoing refresher training to ensure all staff remain alert.'

Worryingly, 44% of baby boomers admitted to clicking on a link or attachment in an email from a sender they didn't recognise - significantly more than millennial (34%) and generation X (26%). This unadvised cyber practice puts both individuals and organisations at a much greater risk of experiencing a data breach through phishing.

The survey also explored the extent to which employers provide IT security and awareness training to staff and, alarmingly, found that 20% of Irish office workers have never received such training. An additional 20% indicated they received training either less than once a year or only once during their induction.

Wexford People

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