RSA questions whether cybersecurity awareness month is working

According to the report, during the month, phishing attacks rose by 45%, hitting an all-time high of 38,970 in September. The increase, says the security firm, is largely attributed to repeated attacks on a handful of large financial institutions.

Delving into the research reveals that the US hosted two out of every three attacks in September, its share rising by 3% from August. Germany and the UK each hosted 5%, increasing by 1% from August. The UK, meanwhile, was by far the most targeted country by volume, hosting 59% of all phishing attacks.

Against this backdrop, RSA said that cybersecurity awareness month – a public relations effort made by several
US-based government bodies to increase security-literacy – may not be getting the message through to end users.

RSA recently estimated that worldwide losses from phishing attacks alone during H1 2011 amounted to over $520 million, and losses incurred from phishing attacks during the 12-month period of H2 2010 through H1 2011 reached nearly $1 billion.

During the month of September, the total number of brands attacked decreased 15%, dropping from 351 targeted brands in August to 300 brands in September.

Last month, said RSA, no new brands were hit by their first phishing attack, compared to seven newly targeted brands in August. Monthly counts of newly targeted brands last year hovered around 20 to 25 entities per month, indicating a slowdown in the trend of attacks on new targets.

The US and UK, meanwhile, said the report, continue to remain the top two countries targeted by the highest volume of phishing attacks. In September, they endured 79% of the world’s phishing attacks. Brazil, Canada, and South Africa remained among the top five countries in September in terms of phishing attack volume.

Finally the US and UK brands accounted for 43% of all the brands targeted worldwide by phishing in September.

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