The team at Nexus IT Consultants recently conducted a study in hopes of highlighting the continually rising danger of ransomware, malware, and phishing campaigns.
The experiment was launched not only to raise awareness, but also to offer free cyber security training to those who fell for the experiment’s ‘ruse’. The study involved sending out 3,800 emails claiming to be parcel delivery notifications. The emails were intentionally poorly written, and even included spelling errors, much like common phishing emails. Those who clicked the link in the email were directed to a warning about phishing scams and an offer for security awareness training.
“The astronomical level of cyber threats in today’s world is very real,” says Nexus CEO, Earl Foote. “Unfortunately, most organizations do not think that they are a target, nor do they think they are vulnerable to these threats. We wanted a clear way to illustrate to our clients just how vulnerable they really are.”
What’s most alarming is that the campaign proved just how many people are still ignorant to the risks and would have potentially exposed their computers or greater networks. Many of those who clicked the link were using professional email accounts linked to finance and healthcare organizations.
Of the 3,800 emails sent, 1,386 were opened and 495 people clicked the link.
“We sent the campaign out to our existing client base,” explains Foote. “We were astonished to see that 38% of the recipients opened the email. Spam filters only rejected 5% of the emails that we sent. A whopping 14% actually clicked on the suspect link.”
“Had this been a real cyber-attack, 14% of recipients would have allowed a hacker to breach their organization’s network.”
Since conducting the experiment, Nexus IT Consultants has received dozens of replies to the email, asking how to set up their security training. They even had recipients calling the phone number and inquiring how to get take advantage of the free training package.
“This was a major eye-opener to all of us about just how vulnerable our clients are,” adds Foote. “We will be using this information to better inform them about the threats that exist in a cyber environment and how to avoid those threats. We strongly encourage business owners to reach out if they’re unsure how to get protected – don’t wait to be duped.”
Worried about ransomware, malware or phishing emails? Not sure how to tell if your business is protected? Contact Nexus IT Consultants at (801) 839-7006 or (435) 659-2533 or firstname.lastname@example.org right away for a free evaluation and get your company secured.