Health Care, Retailers Are 'Sitting Ducks'

By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 05-20-2014 Email Print this article Print

An analysis of 1 trillion e-mails by security solutions firm Agari finds large corporations are the most vulnerable, in comparison to e-tailers and digital startups, which more often prevail in the face of cyber-threats, according to its analysis of financial services, e-commerce, logistics, airlines, social media and health-care sectors. Agari identified 131 companies and determined their risk levels by analyzing their e-mail messages. Agari's Q4 Email TrustIndex rates the volume of cyber-threats targeted toward a company’s consumers. Its TrustScore reflects how well organizations protect their consumers from malicious e-mail. Its ThreatScore indicates how high a level of attack is directed at an organization. "Many companies have not yet focused on consumer protection from e-mail cyber-threats and the significant risk this presents," says Patrick Peterson, CEO of Agari. "The TrustIndex shows the industry sectors and companies that do the most—and the least—to detect and prevent cyber threats." To read the report (registration required), click here.

  • Industry Sectors Covered

    Financial Services, E-commerce: e-tailers and retailers, Other: logistics, airlines, travel, social media, health care
    Industry Sectors Covered
  • Health Care Worst Performer

    Across all measures of the study, health care proved the most susceptible to e-mail attacks and cyber fraud. Consumers are five times more likely to get malicious e-mail from their health-care provider than any other sector.
    Health Care Worst Performer
  • All Retailers At Risk

    The retail sector's ThreatScore jumped by a factor of eight in Q4 compared to the previous quarter, causing the report to characterize 93% of retailers as "sitting ducks."
    All Retailers At Risk
  • E-tailers' Security Measures Surpass Retailers'

    Retailers with both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses lag behind e-tailers when it comes to security. Amazon, Netflix, and Newegg have "perfect or near-perfect" TrustScores.
    E-tailers' Security Measures Surpass Retailers'
  • Social Media a "Consistent Winner"

    Agari found that social media had a TrustScore of 60 out of 100, 8% higher than the previous quarter.
    Social Media a
  • Financial Services Payments

    Credit card and payment companies have the third highest TrustScore, at 50, and the fourth lowest ThreatScore.
    Financial Services Payments
  • Mega Banks vs. Large Banks

    Banks with $5 billion in annual revenue are 20% more trustworthy through e-mail than banks with $2 billion, according to the report's data. Mega banks and large banks had TrustScores of 40 and 32, respectively, and ThreatScores of “low” and “moderate,” respectively.
    Mega Banks vs. Large Banks
  • Airlines Are Heavily Targeted

    The ThreatScore for the travel sector climbed 600%, an indication that cybercriminals recognize the sector's security is easier to penetrate than others.
    Airlines Are Heavily Targeted
  • Logistics Also Popular Criminal Target

    Because shipping companies rely on e-mail to deliver shipping and tracking notifications and consumers' eagerness to track packages, this sector is vulnerable. Its Q4 TrustScore declined 12% from Q3. Over one-third of shipping companies have not deployed any authentication standard, which the report termed "alarming."
    Logistics Also Popular Criminal Target
  • Digital Startups Are "Security Rock Stars"

    Of the 131 companies analyzed, high-tech startups fared the best in terms of cybersecurity. The report attributes this to "nimble workforces that have a pulse on security opportunities" that hackers often take advantage of, whereas vulnerable companies tend to be "large, established enterprises with multiple stakeholders [and] complex IT systems."
    Digital Startups Are
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.


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