Survey: 92% of organizations fell victim to phishing in the past 12 months

Ruth C. | March 21, 2023

Phishing attacks remain a significant threat to organizations. According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 92% of organizations were victims of phishing in the past 12 months, and 86% experienced negative consequences as a result.

The numbers are based on the survey conducted by Egress with 500 cybersecurity leaders from the US, UK, and Australia who have deployed Microsoft 365 in their organizations. Survey data was supplemented with Egress platform data.

The most commonly reported fallout from phishing attacks was financial losses from customer churn. Overall, 54% of surveyed organization leaders said they lost customers and revenue due to successful phishing attacks.

A company's reputation, which may have taken years or even decades to build, can be irreparably damaged in just seconds due to a single security breach. Reputational damage was reported by 47% of organizations that were impacted by phishing attacks in the last 12 months. 

Moreover, over a fourth (27%) of organizations underwent lengthy remediations, while nearly a tenth (9%) faced legal repercussions

However, phishing incidents did not only have repercussions for the victim organizations but also for the employees involved. In 30% of cases, the employees were disciplined as a result of the successful phishing event, while 22% of organizations reported that employees were dismissed. In 18% of instances, employees left voluntarily

72% of cybersecurity leaders express concern over AI's use in phishing emails

Phishing has become an increasingly sophisticated cyber threat as cybercriminals continue to evolve their tactics. With the advancement of AI technology, there are concerns it may be misused to create more sophisticated cyberattacks. 

Specifically, 72% of cybersecurity leaders are expressing worries about the use of AI in email phishing attacks. Cybersecurity leaders within financial organizations are the most alert about AI's utilization to craft phishing campaigns — 80% of them showed concern.

Additionally, 77% of cybersecurity leaders in the legal sector feel alarmed about the growing risks of AI use in phishing, followed by 66% of leaders in government and charity organizations and 63% in healthcare

These concerns arise from the potential for AI to automate the phishing process, which can make attacks more efficient and scalable. Additionally, AI can create highly sophisticated and personalized phishing emails that are difficult to detect using traditional security systems. The use of deepfake technology to add video and voice capabilities to phishing attacks can make them even more dangerous. 

In conclusion

While phishing attacks have been a persistent threat for years, the increasing sophistication of these attacks and the potential misuse of AI technology has heightened concerns among cybersecurity leaders. 

As we move forward, it is crucial that organizations prioritize cybersecurity measures and stay vigilant in their efforts to protect against these threats. Additionally, further research and development of AI-based security systems will be essential to staying ahead of cybercriminals and mitigating the risks associated with AI-powered phishing attacks.

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Ruth C.

Ruth C.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Interested in cybercrime, online security, and privacy-related topics.



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