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Report: 43 percent of businesses prone to phishing attacks

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According to recent research conducted by KnowBe4, a significant amount of businesses are susceptible to phishing attacks, a cybercrime method that has gained popularity in recent years.

The company ran tests on several security systems of many fast-growing small- and medium-sized enterprises to conduct its study, which found 43 percent of them to be susceptible to such attacks. To gather information, KnowBe4 ran its own simulation using a free data-gathering service, which is essentially the same method a phishing attack would use. Through this service, the company was able to obtain more than 42,000 email addresses from these companies, which cybercriminals could then use to infiltrate corporate systems.

"We believe that SMEs are prime targets for cybercriminals because companies in growth mode are often so focused on expansion that they overlook Internet security training," explained KnowBe4 founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman. "So we decided to conduct an experiment to test that theory."

As data loss continues to grow, businesses must invest in tighter security and better liability insurance. According to a recent Ponemon Institute report, U.S.-based companies paid more than $7 million per instance of data loss during 2010.  

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