The BBC was blasted with over 250,000 malicious email attacks every day in 2020, according to PCR. Data revealed under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by the Parliament Street think tank’s cybersecurity team, showed that an average of 283,597 malicious emails were blocked by the organisation every day over the first eight months of this year. On a monthly basis, the data shows that the BBC receives an average of 6,704,188 hostile emails classed as scam or spam. Additionally, an average of 18,662 malware attacks such as viruses, ransomware, and spyware are blocked. Across the period of January 2020 to August 2020, a total of 51,898,393 infected emails were blocked by the BBC’s systems. The highest month of attacks was July with a huge total of 6,801,227 incidents recorded. Of these 6,787,635 were spam and 13,592 were malware. The second highest month was March, when the COVID-19 outbreak was at its worst in the UK. The BBC received 6,768,632 spam attempts and 14,089 malware attempts, totalling 6,782,721.
These figures must act as an eye-opener to anyone with their head in the sand who still thinks that phishing emails are not a problem. The huge number of attacks reported highlights the incredible force that organisations like the BBC have to withstand on a daily basis.
Spam and scam emails are targeting our inboxes on a rising scale, amplified even further by COVID-19. Therefore, awareness and education are absolutely crucial in empowering individuals to spot these threats, defending themselves and their organisations against potential cyber-attacks. It only takes one rogue message to break through the protective layers of security. There is only so far software can go before human interaction is required to keep such persistent attacks at bay.