Covid-19 phishing emails hit 1 in 5 workers

Global cybersecurity company Webroot has released a new report, titled ‘Covid-19 Clicks: How Phishing Capitalised on a Global Crisis’, that found over one in five (22%) UK employees received a phishing email related to Covid-19.

With 56% of UK respondents admitting that they have increased the amount of time they spend working from home, and employees globally receiving 34% more emails than this time last year, remote work fatigue and increased distractions may have increased vulnerability to phishing.

Nick Emanuel, senior director of product at Webroot, said, “With mass work from home, an influx of emails and a general ‘always connected’ attitude, there are more opportunities for cybercriminals than ever before. Businesses and consumers must prioritise cyber resilience and recognise that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect their data.”

The report also suggests companies and consumers are falsely confident when it comes to cybersecurity, with three quarters of UK respondents (75%) believing that they know enough to keep themselves and their personal data safe from a cybersecurity attack, the highest level of confidence amongst surveyed countries.

The research found that many workers in the UK have substandard cyber resilience habits, with 66% of respondents regularly clicking on emails from unknown senders. As such, Webroot says more education and prevention measures are needed to achieve cyber resilience. This is particularly important as the future of work includes remote workers who are accessing company resources from personal or shared public networks.

The findings also highlighted other areas where workers are posing increasing risk. These include 1 in 4 workers using their personal devices for work, with an additional 13% of UK respondents use their work devices for personal matters. 71% don’t back up their data, and 36% have needed to recover lost files since the pandemic began.

Worryingly, only 24% think all employees should play a role in their company’s cyber resilience, yet 69% seem to believe their companies are resilient against cyberattacks. The Channel can help address these findings through developing their own cybersecurity offerings.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes content to inform and educate the Channel about the latest technology and business developments from across the industry. Prior to her current role, she wrote for other MA Business titles New Electronics, Land Mobile and Critical Communications Today. Before moving into journalism, she spent five years working in public relations and has worked with various technology companies spanning telecommunications, cyber security and software development.

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