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The British Council, which promotes wider knowledge of the UK and English language in over 100 countries worldwide, was hit by over 10 million malicious email attacks in 2019, according to official figures.

The data was obtained by Nimbus Hosting under the Freedom of Information Act and showed that the British Council blocked a total of 10,336,631 emails last year. Of those, 190,155 emails were intercepted or blocked because of suspected malware such as worms, Trojan horses and ransomware.

Furthermore, the organization also blocked 14,317 suspected phishing emails, whilst a further 10,132,159 emails were intercepted and logged as spam, many of which would have had the potential to contain viruses.

Tim Dunton, MD, Nimbus Hosting, said: “These figures are another reminder that cyber-criminals will continually bombard organizations with scam emails, hoping to trick employees into handing over private data, to breach the organization’s security systems or steal personal information. All it takes is for one hoax email to fall through an email systems’ imperfect filtration system before an organization must face the consequences of a severe breach of customer information.”

Moving forward, he added, it’s vital that all organizations like the British Council have the necessary anti-virus systems in place, as well as robust security procedures to keep hackers at bay.

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