75% of Workers Lack Security Awareness

MediaPro has published its 2018 State of Secrecy and Safety Consciousness Report which evaluates the level of safety consciousness of workers across various industry sectors. The report is based on the replies to surveys sent to 1,024 workers throughout the United States that investigated their knowledge of real-world dangers and safety best practices.

This is the third year that MediaPro has carried out the survey, which classifies respondents in one of three groups –Risk, Novice, or Hero – based on their knowledge of safety dangers and understanding of best practices that will keep them and their company safe.

In 2016, when the survey was first carried out, 16% of respondents rated a risk, 72% were rated beginners, and 12% were rated as champions. Each year, the proportion of beginners has decreased and the proportion of champions has increased. Unluckily, the proportion of workers ranked as a danger to their company has also enhanced year-over-year.

In this year’s State of Secrecy and Safety Consciousness Report, 75% of all experts were rated as either a moderate or severe threat to their organization. 30% of respondents were considered to be a danger to the company, 45% were beginners, and 25% were champions. 77% of respondents in management ranks demonstrated a lack of safety consciousness, which is of specific concern as they are often targeted by phishers.

The main concerns were an incapability to identify the indications of a malware infection and a phishing attempt. There was also a weak understanding of social media dangers. When asked queries linked to malware, nearly 20% of workers failed to identify at least one sign of a malware infected computer. Given the rise in cryptomining attacks, it was a concern that a sluggish computer was the most usually ignored indication of a malware infection.

Phishing attacks carry on to increase but phishing awareness is much worse than last year. 14% of respondents failed to recognize all indications of a phishing electronic mail compared to just 8% previous year. The most usually neglected phishing attempt was the proposition of a hot stock tip, which was failed by 20% of respondents. There was also poor knowledge of Business Email Compromise (BEC) cheats.

It was a similar account for social media security, with about 20% of respondents making bad conclusions on social media sites – conclusions that might create problems for their business such as disclosing confidential information or replying to possibly defamatory comments by colleagues.

An analysis of scores by industrial sectors disclosed the financial facilities performed the worst of the seven industrial sectors represented in the study. 85% of respondents in the financial facilities had a lack of safety consciousness to some degree.

“These levels of riskiness are shocking. It just takes one individual to click on the incorrect electronic mail that allows in the malware that exfiltrates your business’s data. Without everyone being more cautious, people and business data will carry on to be at risk,” said Tom Pendergast, chief safety and secrecy planner at MediaPRO.