bbc reporter blocking phishing attacks

BBC hit with a barrage of 220,000 phishing emails every day in 2020

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By now, most organisations know of the dangers of phishing emails and the damage they can cause to both businesses and individuals alike, but the sheer scale on which this is happening makes for a sobering investigation.

According to information accessed by think tank Parliament Street through a Freedom of Information request, an average of more than 6.7 million malicious emails were sent to the BBC alone every month between January and August this year.

That equates to over 220,000 of these emails every single day.

During these months, the BBC was able to block almost 52 million of these emails from reaching employee inboxes. This sounds like an enormous number, but the security focussed among you will be uncomfortably aware of the gaping chasm through which 1.6 million malicious emails were able to slip.

That equates to 6,666 malicious emails successfully landing in user inboxes each day. Should the users not have a solid foundation in security awareness training the risk these emails posed to the British Broadcasting giant would be astronomical.

On top of malicious email attacks, they also managed to stop an average of 18,000 separate malware attacks each month. The magnitude of cyber threats to large global organisations like these have never been more real.

In July alone, the news agency was targeted with over 13,000 malware attempts and around 6.7 million spam emails. In March, when lockdown was introduced and everybody across the country was told to work from home, it was bombarded with 6,768,632 spam emails and 14,089 malware attacks.

This huge number of phishing emails and malware attack attempts just goes to show that even with enterprise-grade email security systems in place, social engineers are still able to sneak malicious emails to your users. Security awareness training effectively turns each user from a potential victim increasing your cyber threat surface, into an extension of your security system.

In the case of the BBC, educating their employees in how to spot phishing emails is akin to switching on an additional 22,400 email filters…

In July, a survey from Computer Disposals Limited revealed that 56% of Brits still can not accurately identify phishing attempts and are also not able to differentiate between genuine and spam emails and messages.

This indicates that the British public may continue to remain vulnerable to various phishing campaigns, including those using the COVID-19 pandemic or shopping fests like Black Friday, a time when hackers concentrate their efforts exponentially to capitalise on users’ lack of awareness.

The dangers are clear for anyone to see, and the frequency and size of the threat posed by hackers is only getting bigger. It’s time to make your users smarter.

Could your employees spot a phishing email? Or do they side with the vast majority of Brits?

Find out in our Free Click-Prone® Test now.