How Spear Phishing Puts Businesses on the Hook

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 01-21-2016 Email

These days, cyber-attacks seem to arrive from almost every direction and tap increasingly sophisticated methods. Yet, spear phishing—which serves up realistic-looking e-mails and messages directed to a specific person, usually in an attempt to steal credentials—are among the most insidious and effective attack methods. Detecting fake messages can be difficult even for someone with a trained eye and knowledge about proper security methods. A new study conducted by Cloudmark and VansonBourne, The Impact of Spear Phishing on UK and US Businesses, examines the evolving world of spear phishing, which now wreaks havoc on organizations and government entities across the world. In fact, the study of 300 IT decision-makers in the U.S. and UK revealed that spear-phishing attacks are often effective, they result in numerous problems and they typically damage an organization's reputation. Overall, the financial impact can run into the millions of dollars. Here's a look at some of the key findings from the survey.

Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).


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