Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


05:00 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases

New Report Unveils the Most Vulnerable Sectors & Departments to Phishing Attacks

Cyber attacks cause great harm to the business world due to their evolving nature and it is expected that cyber attacks will cost businesses 6 trillion dollars worldwide next year. Keepnet Labs reveals its latest research on the most vulnerable sectors and internal departments affected by cyber attacks.

PRESS RELEASE - While cyber attackers chase down system vulnerabilities and valuable data each passing day, the business world has taken the measures against them. The latest trends and cybersecurity statistics reveal that data from various sources, especially mobile and IoT devices, is targeted and attacked. Organizations face the risk of data loss due to unprotected data and weak cyber security practices.

In the first half of last year, $ 4.1 billion of data records were exposed [1], while the average time needed to detect a leak was 206 days [2]. While the average loss caused by a data leak is estimated at $ 3.92 million[3] for businesses, cyberattacks will create $ 6 trillion[4] in losses globally in the next year.

Keepnet Labs, a UK-based cyber security awareness and anti phishing company has revealed the most vulnerable departments and sectors against phishing attacks. The Keepnet Labs 2020 Phishing Trends Report was generated by a data set of 410 thousand phishing emails, covering a period of one year.

Accordingly, 90% of successful cyber attacks occur through email-based attacks. These cyberattacks use deceptive, deceptive and fraudulent social engineering techniques, especially to bypass various security mechanisms / controls.

1 out of 8 people share the information requested by attackers

According to the Report, which identifies the sectors and departments that are most vulnerable to phishing attacks:

  • 1 out of 2 employees opens and reads phishing emails.
  • 1 out of 3 employees clicks links or opens file attachments in phishing emails (which may cause silent installation of malware / ransomware).
  • 1 out of every 8 employees shares the information requested in phishing emails.

Moreover, the sectors and departments most vulnerable to cyber attacks are identified in the Report.

Sectors most vulnerable to cyber attacks

Top 5 sectors with the highest click rates on malicious links in phishing emails:

  • Consulting (63%)
  • Clothing and Accessories (48%)
  • Education (47%)
  • Technology (40%)
  • Holdings / Conglomerates (32.37%)

Sectors with the highest rates of data sharing:

  • Clothing and Accessories (43%)
  • Consulting (30%)
  • Securities and Stock Exchange (23%)
  • Education (22%)

Corporate departments most affected by cyber attacks

The top three departments with the highest rates of clicking fake links in phishing emails:

  • Law / Audit / Internal Control (59%)
  • Procurement / Administrative Affairs (58%)
  • Quality Management / Health (56%)

While the findings reveal that these departments have not changed according to last year's statistics, the Report concludes that most of the sensitive information needed by cybercriminals is accessible via users working in these vulnerable units. This in turn poses a serious threat to their respective organizations, because employees with such privileged access to this prized information are the key people in those organisations who motivate the hackers to infiltrate organizations and execute their intended, malicious campaigns.

The top three departments with the highest rates of sharing data:

  • Quality Management / Health (27%)
  • Procurement / Administrative Affairs (26%)
  • Legal / Audit / Internal Control (25%)

These statistics reveal that certain departments are more inclined to share sensitive information compared to others, and considering their position, they should be much more careful against cyber attacks.

The Keepnet Labs 2020 Phishing Trends Report guides organizations in their cyber security and awareness efforts by identifying the most vulnerable departments and sectors.

You can download the Report here.


ResourcesRiskBased IBM Security Intelligence C. Ventures

About Keepnet Labs

Keepnet Labs protects businesses throughout the full lifecycle of email-based cyber-attacks. Keepnet has developed a full spectrum suite of cyber-security defence, threat monitoring, security management and user awareness products that encapsulate an integrated approach to people, processes and technology thus reducing the threat in all areas of cyber risk.

The company is committed to continuous innovation and expansion of our suite of security products in order to meet the needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing networked population in a constantly evolving cyber-threat environment.

Keepnet’s cyber defence strategy adopts three holistic elements: people, process, and technology:

  • People: Keepnet focuses on the "human factor”, using engaging, structured, content to raise cyber awareness and engender “active defence” behaviours.
  • Process: Keepnet supports the development and management of user security awareness plans, monitor user compliance and Key Performance Indicators and embed cybersecurity as an intrinsic part of the corporate culture.
  • Technology: Keepnet scans and isolates malicious attachments and email content and provides system administrators with “one-click” management across the enterprise.

Keepnet’s internal corporate strategy creates a stimulating and innovative environment where the Keepnet team has the opportunity to continually enhance their skills and creativity while contributing to growth.

Keepnet Labs solution delivers a full-spectrum approach to mitigating phishing risk by:

  • Analysis of phishing attacks using Artificial Intelligence and third-party integration for identification, notification and deletion of suspicious emails;
  • Safely simulating phishing attacks using a broad range of real-world models;
  • Automating malicious email management through “one-click” removal;
  • Proving education modules with third-party training platform integration;
  • Supporting user training and recording of training outcomes and compliance;
  • Delivering integrated cyber-intelligence reporting; and
  • Cloud and on-premise implementation options.

Keepnet’s flexible technology implementation model means that it can scale from the smallest SME to the largest corporate organisation using both cloud and on-premise implementations.

The “as a service” model is particularly attractive to smaller organisations without in-house security capability as Keepnet Labs provide both the platform and the operational management of alerting, user training management, phishing simulations and security reporting.

For larger organisations who may choose an on-premise implementation, Keepnet provides a full support capability including heuristic and threat intelligence-based updates to reflect the dynamic nature of the threat perimeter.

Keepnet Labs improves overall organisational security posture and mitigate cyber-risk by;

  • Real-time analysis and management of email-borne threats;
  • Threat simulation designed to test the organisations' security posture;
  • The availability of timely threat intelligence;
  • Via realistic, but safe, phishing simulation; and
  • Supporting security awareness training programmes.

Keepnet Labs

[email protected]

Editorial Media:




Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
Chinese Attackers' Favorite Flaws Prove Global Threats, Research Shows
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
NVIDIA DGX servers, all DGX-1 with BMC firmware versions prior to 3.38.30, contains a vulnerability in the AMI BMC firmware in which an attacker with administrative privileges can obtain the hash of the BMC/IPMI user password, which may lead to information disclosure.
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
NVIDIA DGX servers, all DGX-1 with BMC firmware versions prior to 3.38.30, contains a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the AMI BMC firmware in which the web application does not sufficiently verify whether a well-formed, valid, consistent request was intentionally provided by the u...
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
NVIDIA DGX servers, all DGX-1 with BMC firmware versions prior to 3.38.30, contain a vulnerability in the AMI BMC firmware in which software allows an attacker to upload or transfer files that can be automatically processed within the product's environment, which may lead to remote code execution.
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
NVIDIA DGX servers, DGX-1 with BMC firmware versions prior to 3.38.30. DGX-2 with BMC firmware versions prior to 1.06.06 and all DGX A100 Servers with all BMC firmware versions, contains a vulnerability in the AMI BMC firmware in which the use of a hard-coded RSA 1024 key with weak ciphers may lead ...
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
NVIDIA DGX servers, all DGX-1 with BMC firmware versions prior to 3.38.30 and all DGX-2 with BMC firmware versions prior to 1.06.06, contains a vulnerability in the AMI BMC firmware in which software does not validate the RSA 1024 public key used to verify the firmware signature, which may lead to i...