#Privacy: Almost 40% of end users with no cybersecurity training will fall victim to phishing, study finds

A recently released study into email fraud has produced some alarming conclusions about the susceptibility of staff when working remotely, if individuals have not been given adequate training to offset cyber-risk.

The new Phishing By Industry Benchmarking Report, published by security and awareness training specialists, KnowBe4, investigates how many of the firm’s employees are likely to get drawn in by a phishing or social engineering scam. Results were broken down to calculate a phish-prone-percentage (PPP).

The initial baseline phishing test was administered to organizations that hadn’t conducted any KnowBe4 security awareness training. The results indicated a high level of risk, with an average initial baseline PPP of 37.9%, up 8.3% from 2019, across all industries and sizes. Every organization regardless of size and vertical is susceptible to phishing and social engineering without computer-based training.

“We continue to see a trend of organizations’ PPP increasing year-over-year,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4.

“These findings reinforce the need for new-school security awareness training and frequent simulated phishing testing. As security professionals, we have a call to action to educate our end users so they are the most prepared and have the knowledge they need to remain vigilant against evolving cyber threats.”

After 90 days of computer-based training and simulated phishing testing, the average PPP was reduced by over 60 percent, dropping from 37.9% to 14.1%. And after one year of monthly simulated phishing tests and regular training, the PPP further declines to just 4.7%. Across all industries, there’s an average 87 percent improvement rate from baseline testing to 12 months of training and testing.


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