Home 81 percent of security pros say phishing is the top threat

81 percent of security pros say phishing is the top threat

A comprehensive study of security professionals has found that most organizations anticipate phishing as the top threat over the next six months.

This week, global cybersecurity software and services provider Fortra published the findings of its inaugural state of cybersecurity survey, which was compiled after canvassing opinions from over 400 professionals across 40 different industries all over the globe.

In terms of the top immediate threat, most organizations identified phishing (81 %), followed by malware and ransomware (76%), and accidental data loss (63%) as areas to monitor. Social engineering (55%) and third-party risks (52%) also ranked high.

The security professionals were also questioned on what their priorities would be to combat the threat of the above factors, with the following measures put forward.

Preventing or limiting outside threats such as phishing and malware (74%), identifying and closing security gaps (73%), improving security culture (66%), cloud security (63 %), and compliance (62 %).

Antonio Sanchez, Principal Cybersecurity Evangelist at Fortra responded to the findings: “While these may seem like disparate concerns, they can all be traced back to the headlong rush to the cloud, he said.

“The impacts of this rapid migration – weak policies, poor container security, misconfigurations, and gaping security holes – came home to roost in 2023 and the consequences will still be playing out this year.”

“Now, the top focus is on improving controls and processes around phishing and malware followed by identifying the latest attack vectors for hardening,” added Sanchez.

Impact of skill shortages and budget pressures

The study also examined what is preventing the rollout of further security strategies with budget limitations (54%), the constantly changing nature of threats (45%), and a lack of security skills (45%) topping the poll.

The survey also outlined that many want to implement the principles of zero trust, but around 25% said they can’t put those plans in place due to insufficient resources.

On that issue, Josh Davies, principal technical manager at Fortra commented, “Burnout is one trend that’s causing skilled people to leave organizations or transition into roles with more targeted responsibilities.”

“This puts additional stress on the remaining staff as they must still deliver the required outcomes with fewer headcount.”

Image: Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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