November 12, 2013

The third quarter Agari TrustIndex reveals which industries are most vulnerable to cyber attacks and what companies and succeeding in fighting the good fight. Consistent with last quarter's findings, financial services are most vulnerable to attack.

Across the industries analyzed -- financial services, health care, logistics, online gaming, social media, e-commerce, and travel -- financial services once again came in as the #1 sector abused by malicious email traffickers.

According to the survey, consumers remain 7 times more likely to become victim to a cyberattack from their bank versus any other industry sector. In fact, your chances of getting the flu this year is about the same as getting a fake e-mail from a bank, insurance company, or online payment service.

[Compare with last quarter's report: 122% Increase In Financial Services Cyberattacks During Q2 ]

Spammers, malware writers, phishers and cybercriminals have not relented on the financial industry, exploiting the trust many have in their financial service providers. The report explains, "Where some sectors are plagued with generic nuisance spam, financial services see a high proportion of clever and high-quality branded phishing messages." This includes "plausible justifications for the victim needing to act, including online shopping and payment problems. To motivate an immediate click, they threaten to lock the account if the user doesn’t update their account information within 48 hours."

To conduct this report Agari has analyzed over 1 trillion e-mails, helping to block over 1 billion malicious messages. One out of 8 spam messages tracked appeared to come from a financial services firm.

Agari uses two security benchmarks: Agari’s ThreatScore identifies the market sectors that are most often targeted by cybercriminals. Agari’s TrustScore identifies brands at risk of loss of consumer trust based on their email security practices.

Financial services saw its ThreatScore decrease 1% from 7.14 in Q2 to 7.10 in Q3, in both cases far ahead of other sectors. To put it in perspective, health care followed with a ThreatScore of 5.98. Logistics (ex: FedEx and UPS) scored 2.95. Encouragingly, the financial industry's TrustScore rose 7% from Q2.

Of the top 10 brands listed as "working hardest to protect customers," Chase bank was the only financial service firm.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Before joining UBM Becca served as Editor-In-Chief at Kapitall Wire, the sister site to an online brokerage firm that combines the challenges of the stock market with the thrill of ...