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UK sales staff are the most likely to suffer a cyber attack, according to a new report from Intel Security, cited by Computer Business Review.
Their frequent online contact with non-staff members makes companies’ sales teams more vulnerable to online attacks than other workers or even the company chief technology officer (CTO). Call centre and customer services teams are next in line for attack, said the report.
Even so, companies are failing to provide security training to non-technical staff, claims Intel Security. More than half (51%) of UK companies do not provide their sales staff with IT security training, despite the risks. Meanwhile, one in ten UK companies are failing to provide any of their staff with mandatory online security training. This is the highest rate across Europe.
At the same time, the researchers noted a rise in the number of untrained staff clicking on dangerous links and unwittingly exposing their organisation to a browser attack. The number of suspect URLs soared 87% between 2013 and 2014.
Advanced stealth attacks (which disguise themselves to sneak into company networks) are also on the rise – Intel Security uncovered 387 new threats every minute.
Browser attacks, along with network abuse, stealthy attacks, evasive technologies and SSL attacks are the top five attack methods. Together, five these threats accounted for over 83 million network attacks quarterly, said the security firm.
Ashish Patel, regional director of network security at UK&I Intel Security, said: “With new threats being developed every minute of every day, IT teams within organisations need to rethink their approach to network security.”
He added: “With suspect URLs in particular on the rise, companies cannot afford to overlook non-technical staff when it comes to security training, as these employees are often the most susceptible to online threats.”