Research Points to Email as Top Threat for Cybercriminal Activity

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In a recent survey by Osterman Research, Inc., top Information Technology (IT) decision makers expressed that they see email as the primary threat for cybercriminal activity.

Have you ever received an email from someone that you thought you knew, only to realize after clicking a link for a “cute kitten video” that it went to a different website – perhaps even a more sinister location? If so, you’re not alone.

The Valimail Spring 2019 Email Fraud Landscape report indicates that at least 3.4 billion fake emails – phishing emails – are sent each day. In your dental practice office, your biggest security threat is your team – literally anyone that uses email for their daily job poses a security threat. If you’re not addressing that huge security risk with proper tools, training and best practices, you may be placing your practice and your patients’ data at risk. Think your practice is too small to be targeted by phishing attacks? Think again.

Phishing attacks affect all businesses and industries and these random attacks do not discriminate based on organization size. Whether you’re an independent three-employee practice or a multi-location DSO, chances are you’re equally at risk when it comes to cyberattacks like email phishing and spear-phishing.

According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), 55 percent of all email is spam. The average email user receives about 16 malicious spam emails per month, so even if you only have 10 employees, that’s still 160 times a month where your practice and your patient’s data could be at risk with the click of one innocent-looking, yet sinister links. How much are you willing to bet that your team will not click on even one of the over 1,920 fraudulent email links sent to them throughout the course of this year?

The Symantec report also reiterates that “Spear-phishing emails are the number one means of attack we’ve seen used meaning a well-crafted email, sent to an unsuspecting staff member is the most likely source of compromise and can be the trigger to a potentially serious security breach.”

Be smart about cyber security. Talk to a security professional, train your team, and take action by implementing tools to improve your practice’s data security.

 

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