Of more than 900 IT directors polled across Western Europe, over half reported discoveries of employees responding to phishing emails or clicking on malicious links.

In the UK, 48% of businesses have fallen victim to attacks, with comparable numbers in France and the Netherlands. In Ireland, the data shows that only about 25% of firms had experienced breaches, significantly fewer than elsewhere. The luck of the Irish seems to apply to cyber threats.

According to the poll, larger businesses were compromised more frequently than smaller businesses. Among companies employing between 500 and 700 individuals, 56% experienced attacks. In contrast, among companies employing 250 people or fewer, only 25% firms dealt with phishing scams.

In 2018, attacks proliferated during times of exciting global news. An uptick of attacks occurred as media outlets reported on GDPR regulations, as the FIFA world cup got underway, and as the new iPhone launched. Events like these represent ideal times to get consumers to buy things –or to think that they’re buying things- and to get them to give away valuable information.

Despite the fact that people are still falling for traditional phishing scams, bad actors are beginning to grow restless with the practice, and are gradually moving into new forms of content distribution, including through Google Translate and Spotify.

Many organizations do have infrastructure in place to mitigate attacks before they reach end-users. Nonetheless, educating employees and setting up systems for reporting attacks are equally critical. After all, not everyone can be Irish.

Get the full story at Computer Weekly.