IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Almost half of UK employees can't spot email scams

"Jargon" and confusing terminology cited as an issue, according to OpenText survey

An @ sign on a fish hook

Almost half of UK workers (42%) are unable to identify email scams that claim to be sent on behalf of Royal Mail, according to new research. 

The figures come from cyber security firm OpenText Solution, which surveyed 2,000 British employees from companies that have less than 1,000 members of staff. 

With the average business targeted 28 times by cyber threats in the past year, the research from OpenText suggests that almost half (44%) of large organisations have suffered network downtime because of successful phishing attacks

A key issue here, according to OpenText, is a lack of knowledge amongst all staff; 60% of respondents suggested they had no knowledge of 'BEC', which stands for 'business email compromise'. What's more, 50% said they had no understanding of the term 'DDoS' or 'distributed denial of service'. This, OpenText suggests, demonstrates a clear need for organisations to cut out "jargon" when it comes to educating their employees on cyber security.

However, the lack of understanding of terminology could be a direct result of 29% having never completed any form of cyber risk training. Around seven in ten or 70%, of the respondents, also suggested they would be worried to report they had compromised the security of their organisation, which suggests a change of mindset is needed in these businesses.

Related Resource

Six myths of SIEM

Things have changed when it comes to SIEM solutions

Whitepaper cover with black & white birds eye view of a cityscapeFree Download

 With employees often the first line of defence for an organisation, cyber awareness education is becoming increasingly sought after. There's no use investing in sophisticated cyber security software if employees click on dangerous phishing links and grant cyber criminals access to the business network or confidential data, according to Matt Aldridge, a principal threat consultant at OpenText Security Solutions.

"It's like turning on a fancy home security alarm but leaving a window open - you'll be left playing catch-up after the bad guys get in," Aldridge said. "To ensure cyber resilience, employees need to be educated on the latest risks as soon as they are discovered - whether that's the Royal Mail scam or the multitude of other threats." 

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

Education and government most at risk from email threats
phishing

Education and government most at risk from email threats

26 Nov 2021
Attackers use CSS to fool anti-phishing systems
phishing

Attackers use CSS to fool anti-phishing systems

11 Nov 2021
Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security
cyber security

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security

3 Aug 2021
Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts
cyber security

Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts

27 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022