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Phishing on the rise


“Internet threats are faster and stealthier than ever, and companies are being left vulnerable for hours, days, or even weeks, as perimeter security devices have become increasingly too slow to stop these attacks,” warns Lior Samuelson, CEO, of cloud security experts, Cyren (


 “Many vendors have conceded that they can’t stop threats at the perimeter, and instead are moving their focus to detection of threat after they have entered the network.  At Cyren, we believe the best form of defence is always prevention, but a new approach to prevention is needed – one that acts on threats well before they ever have a chance to get to users.”


The rise of phishing was cited as a top critical security concern cited by respondents in a recent Cyren/Osterman Research survey – with phishing surging past ransomware and targeted attacks – and become second only to data breaches in ranking.”


Compared to the previous year’s survey, security failures continue to be widespread, with over half (59%) of organizations in the survey reporting one or more malware infections or security breaches during the prior 12 months.  A successful phishing attack (reported by 28% of companies) and Virus/Worms/Spyware infections (20%) were the most reported occurrences affecting businesses.


“The survey told us unequivocally that phishing has risen to the top during the past year as the security concern for IT managers in UK and Ireland,” says Michael Osterman, Principal Analyst of Osterman Research (  “Nearly 30% of organizations said that had suffered one or more successful phishing attacks, and IT managers surveyed reported that their day-to-day experience tells them that they the volume of phishing emails managing to evade detection and reach their users has jumped considerably in the past 12 months.”


Over 60% of IT and security managers cited in the Cyren/Osterman Research said that they had seen the number of phishing emails getting through their existing security and reaching end users increasing by 29% compared to the previous year’s survey.  Now in its second year, the Cyren/Osterman Research ‘ IT Security in the UK’ study provides an insight into the current state of web and email security and the priorities of IT and security managers at small and mid-sized enterprises in the UK and Ireland.


“Phishing has become even more sophisticated than we have ever seen before, and users (at all levels within the organization) are frequently falling victim.  With over half of those in the survey reporting that the number of phishing emails reaching executives or other key personnel have increased nearly 20% over the year, it is clear that majority of organizations are increasingly failing to block phishing emails,” comments Samuelson.

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