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60% of office workers fall for phishing messages

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Office workers are receiving up to six phishing messages a day and 60 per cent of employees are falling for them.

This is according to research by PhishMe and it highlights how people using serviced offices need to be on their guard at all times, as important information could easily corrupted if individuals do not spot the malicious messages.

Aaron Higbee, chief technical officer of PhishMe, told SC Magazine that some employees mistakenly think they are not high enough up in an organisation to be under any threat from criminals.

However, he stated this is not the case, as “everyone is a potential target” and spear phishing – an email fraud attempt that targets unauthorised access to confidential data of a firm – is the most popular method used.

Indeed, research by Trend Micro from last year found that  91 per cent of targeted attacks begin with a spear phishing email, while 94 per cent of emails use malicious file attachments to act as the infection.

“We have found that workers are not connected to protecting their corporate assets. They believe it’s the security team’s job to protect them from all outside threats and that security products alone can protect the ‘corporate crown jewels’,” Mr Higbee remarked.

As criminals are developing increasingly sophisticated methods, office workers should make sure they take the issue of data protection seriously.

Mr Higbee points to the fact employees are much more likely to bear safety in mind when they are looking at email at home, as it would be their own data that could be corrupted and this demonstrates why a culture change is required.

Moving forward, security around social networking sites is also going to be an important issue, as cyber criminals will try to get office workers to unwittingly download malware onto their PCs and mobile devices.

This means that when using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, individuals should check it is the genuine site and not a hoax.