DACH: 55 percent victims of spear phishing

DACH: 55 percent victims of spear phishing

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In the DACH region, 55 percent of companies have been victims of a spear phishing attack in the last 12 months, according to the new Barracuda Networks Spear Phishing Trends Report 2023.

DACH was thus slightly above the average in an international comparison (50 percent). In addition, 24 percent of all companies had at least one email account affected by an account takeover. Cyber ​​criminals send an average of 370 malicious emails from each compromised account.

The report includes Barracuda spear phishing data and analysis based on a data set covering 50 billion emails in 3,5 million mailboxes, including nearly 30 million spear phishing emails. The report also includes survey results from a survey commissioned by Barracuda. Conducted by independent market research firm Vanson Bourne, the study surveyed top-level IT professionals at 1.350 companies with 100 to 2.500 employees across multiple industries in the US, EMEA and APAC. Of these, 150 respondents came from the DACH region.

E-mail attacks increasingly en masse

🔎 What impact have spear phishing attacks had on your organization over the past 12 months? (Image: Barracuda).

Overall, the study shows that cybercriminals continue to bombard organizations with targeted email attacks, and many organizations are struggling to keep up. Although spear phishing attacks are small in scale, they are widespread and very successful compared to other types of email attacks.

  • Spear phishing is common: 50 percent of companies surveyed internationally were victims of spear phishing in 2022, and a typical company received 5 highly personalized spear phishing emails per day.
  • These attacks are very successful: According to Barracuda data, spear phishing attacks account for just 0,1 percent of all email-based attacks, but they are responsible for 66 percent of all security breaches.
  • Companies feel the effects: 55 percent of respondents who experienced a spear phishing attack reported that their computers were infected with malware or viruses (50 percent in DACH). 49 percent said sensitive data was stolen (56 percent in DACH). 48 percent were affected by stolen credentials and/or account takeover - in the DACH region it was even 62 percent. 39 percent of all companies surveyed also reported direct financial losses.
  • Threat detection and response remains a challenge: On average, it takes organizations nearly 100 hours to detect, respond, and remediate an email threat after delivery: 43 hours to detect the attack and 56 hours to respond and remediate, after the attack is detected.

Incident: 22 hours to discovery

DACH companies performed slightly better here: According to their own statements, the average time to detection after an incident was 22 hours and the average time from detection of an attack to reaction and resolution was 44 hours. The IT specialists in DACH named a lack of automation (40 percent), a lack of employee knowledge (38 percent) and a lack of staff (34 percent) as the greatest obstacles to rapid reaction and damage limitation.

  • Remote work increases risks: Users in companies with more than 50 percent remote workers report a higher number of suspicious emails - an average of 12 per day (13 in DACH), compared to 9 per day (7 in DACH) for companies with less than 50 percent remote -staff.
  • More remote workers slow down detection and response on average: Organizations with more than 50 percent remote workers also reported that email security incidents both take longer to detect and respond: 55 hours for detection and 63 hours for response and mitigation, compared to average 36 or 51 hours for companies with fewer remote workers.

In the DACH region, however, this ratio was reversed compared to the international average. Organizations with more than 50 percent remote workers took just 15 hours to detect and 30 hours to respond and mitigate, compared to 24 hours and 49 hours, respectively, for organizations with fewer than 50 percent remote workers.

Spear phishing is still successful

"Although spear phishing is small in volume, this technique, with its targeted and socially engineered tactics, results in a disproportionate number of successful attacks, and the impact of a single successful attack can be devastating," said Fleming Shi, CTO of Barracuda . “To stay ahead of these highly effective attacks, organizations need to invest in account takeover protection solutions powered by artificial intelligence. Such tools are far more effective than rule-based detection mechanisms. Improved detection efficiency will help stop spear phishing and reduce the response effort during an attack.”

More at Barracuda.com


Via Barracuda Networks

Striving to make the world a safer place, Barracuda believes that every business should have access to cloud-enabled, enterprise-wide security solutions that are easy to purchase, implement and use. Barracuda protects email, networks, data and applications with innovative solutions that grow and adapt as the customer journey progresses. More than 150.000 companies worldwide trust Barracuda to help them focus on growing their business. For more information, visit www.barracuda.com.


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