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Latest Research Reveals Top 5 “Phish-Prone” Sectors

According to a latest research by Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) KnowBe4, an Internet Security Awareness Training company, most "Phish-prone" industry sectors in the US comprise IT services, government services, financial services, education, and travel, as reported by eWireInformer on May 23, 2011.

These novel cybercrime statistics were deduced on the basis of a latest phishing experiment done among small and medium sized businesses that feature largely in Inc. 5000 and Inc. 500 listings.

KnowBe4 made use of a free data-gathering service to determine publicly accessible e-mail addresses and dispatched a fake phishing e-mail to above 3,500 firms. Employees of those firms who clicked on the link in the e-mail were directed to a webpage that clearly indicated the fact that, they had just taken part in a research related to phishing activities.

Nearly 29,000 employees from these firms got the e-mails and it was discovered that, one or more employees within around 500 of those firms clicked on the link.

Commenting on the matter, Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 founder and CEO, stated that, any kind of business that offers access to e-mail or access to its networks through the Internet is only as safe from cybercrime to the extent that its employees are trained to evade phishing e-mails and other fake scams. He further stated that, the more employees within an organization utilize e-mail or go online, the more the threat of exposure to cybercrime, as reported by PRNewswire on May 23, 2011.

The findings disclosed that, few industries are specifically susceptible to cybercrime. On the basis of the percentage of firms in each sector that replied to the scam e-mail, the most Phish-prone industries include: Travel 25%, Education 22.92%, Financial Services 22.69%, Government Services 21.23%, and IT Services 20.44%.

Sjouwerman further added that, their findings should alert all the SMEs countrywide. He stated that, not only are these businesses at threat for monetary loss through a scam, but their vulnerability to the phishing techniques could hack private and financial customer information, such as credit card details, bank account information, and social security numbers, as reported by PRNewswire on May 23, 2011.

Cybercrooks have become quite complex in their techniques, and Sjouwerman said that they usually attack businesses via genuine looking e-mails that seem to be dispatched by the government agencies, business associates, or even company executives.

Related article: Latest Scam - Emails Threatening Death to Recipients

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