Phishing and Spear Phishing Attacks are Effective

A recent survey of IT enterprise decision makers by Proofpoint, Inc. has found that phishing and spear phishing attacks against large organizations are extremely common and extremely effective in compromising user credentials and corporate IT systems.

Just over half of all respondents believe that their organizations were targeted by phishing email in the past year.

More than half of those respondents belonging to organizations with 1000 or more email users believe that their organizations were targeted by a spear phishing attack.

By comparison, 42% of respondents belonging to organizations with fewer than 100 email users believe they were targeted by a spear phishing attack.

More than a third of respondents who experienced a spear phishing attack in the previous 12 months (17% of all respondents) believe that the attacks resulted in compromised user login credentials and/or unauthorized access to corporate IT systems.

When asked which vectors posed the greatest risk of corporate data loss, respondents answered outbound email, online file sharing solutions, stolen mobile devices and postings to social media sites in that order.

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