Millions of Emails Sent in Thousands of Phishing Attack Simulations Reveal How Frequently Enterprise Employees Fall Victim to Phishing Attacks

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Dec 31, 2015 06:00 pm PST

PhishMe 2015 Enterprise Phishing Susceptibility Report Shows Which Type of Attack Emails Have Highest Penetration Rates, Provides Guidance on How to Reduce Risk

PhishMe® Inc., the pioneer in human-phishing defence solutions, today released the 2015 Enterprise Phishing Susceptibility report. Data was gathered from 8 million phishing simulation emails sent to 3.5 million enterprise employees to provide analytics showing how susceptible enterprise employees are to falling victim to phishing attacks — the most common cyberattack vector in use today. Additionally, the report demonstrates how effective training can condition employees over time to spot, report and help defend their organisations against phishing.

The most salient of the findings were related to understanding which type of attacks had the highest penetration rates, including:

  • 87% of the employees who opened a phishing simulation email did so on the day it was sent – which means organisations have little time to catch a targeted attack aimed at multiple employees.
  • 67% of those who responded to a phishing email are repeat offenders and likely to respond to another phishing attempt.
  • Business communication themed emails were most effective at phishing; those with the subject lines “File From Scanner” (36%) and “Unauthorised Activity/Access” (34%) had the highest penetration rates.

In addition to demonstrating how frequently phishing emails slip past employees, the report also revealed that through effective training, employees can be turned into valuable security assets that can serve as a layer of intelligence and defence against attacks. Behavioural conditioning decreased susceptible employees’ likelihood to respond to a malicious email by 97% after just 4 simulations.

“Analytics resulting from the report reveal three very pertinent conclusions — that enterprises remain vulnerable to phishing-driven compromises, they need to place more reliance on employees to help them defend their organisations, and consistent training turns employees into informants that can spot attacks before they turn into catastrophes,” said Rohyt Belani, CEO and co-founder, PhishMe.

University of Cambridge and London School of Economics and Political Science contributed to the report with analysis of data samples collected from more than 400 PhishMe customers, having conducted over 4,000 training simulations, during a period of 13 months.

[su_box title=”About PhishMe” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]PhishMePhishMe® is the leading provider of threat management for organisations concerned about human susceptibility to advanced targeted attacks. PhishMe’s intelligence-driven platform turns employees into an active line of defense by enabling them to identify, report, and mitigate spear phishing, malware, and drive-by threats. Our open approach ensures that PhishMe integrates easily into the security technology stack, demonstrating measurable results to help inform an organization’s security decision making process. PhishMe’s customers include the defense industrial base, energy, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing industries, as well as other Global 1000 entities that understand changing user security behavior will improve security, aid incident response, and reduce the risk of compromise.[/su_box]