Survey Finds Businesses Not Vigilant Enough about Social Engineering Threats

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21st September 2011 16:56 - Business Support

A new survey by security specialist Check Point has shown that not enough businesses are adequately aware of the dangers of social engineering attacks.

The study found that 42% of UK companies have been victims of social engineering attacks. These schemes are so prevalent that UK businesses have reported 25 or more such attacks in the past two years, at an average cost of more than £15,000 per incident.

The most common sources of social-engineering threats have been revealed to be phishing emails, at 47%, and social networking sites at 39%.

In addition, the people who are most susceptible to social engineering techniques were found to be new employees at 52% and contractors at 44%.

Cyber criminals are targeting staff they suspect are the weakest security links in organisations - using social networking applications they gather personal and professional information on employees to launch ‘spear phishing’ attacks.

Check Point’s UK Managing Director, Terry Greer-King, commented: “The security risks nowadays are not just the traditional hard security risks... Social engineering attacks are now targeting the weak people within the organisation, and this is a problem that is not high enough on corporate security agendas as we would like it to be.”

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