A new study from behavioural risk firm CybSafe and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) has been launched today and it highlights an alarming surge in phishing and identity theft attacks.
The report, titled ‘Oh, Behave! The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors report’, studied the opinions of 3,000 individuals across the U.S., the UK and Canada towards cybersecurity and revealed that nearly half (45%) of use are connected to the internet all the time, however, this has led to a surge in identity theft with almost 1 in 4 people being affected by the attack.
Furthermore, 1 in 3 (36%) respondents revealed they have lost money or data due to a phishing attack. Yet the study also revealed that 70% of respondents feel confident in their ability to identify a malicious email, but only 45% will confirm the authenticity of a suspicious email by reaching out to the apparent sender.
When it comes to implementing cybersecurity best practices, only 33% of respondents revealed they use a unique password for important online accounts, while only 16% utilise passwords of over 12 characters in length. Furthermore, only 18% of participants have downloaded a stand-alone password manager, while 43% of respondents have not even heard of multi-factor authentication.
Commenting on the study finding, Oz Alashe, CEO and Founder of CybSafe, said: “One of the biggest misconceptions is the belief that people are the weakest link in cybersecurity. The combination of evolving threats coupled with more people accessing the Internet daily for work and recreation means people-related cybersecurity risk must be reassessed. It also makes education and implementation of fundamental cybersecurity practices more important than ever before. MFA, password managers and other ‘basic’ cybersecurity best practices have been shown to be incredibly effective in thwarting cyber criminals, yet adoption continues to be a big problem. We need to find a way to break through the age-old misperceptions that these steps are annoying or cumbersome and replace them with the facts: these tools can significantly lower the chances of becoming a cybercrime victim.”