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UK public sector remains highly vulnerable to ransomware attack

Cyber Security

A lack of awareness among public sector employees around cyber security is leaving it vulnerable to ransomware and other forms of cyber-attack, according to new research today from data security provider Clearswift, a HelpSystems Company.

The research with 1,000 public sector employees, revealed that almost half of respondents (47%) have either not heard of, or do not know what ransomware is, with 42% not having heard of, or what two-factor authentication (2FA) is. This lack of cyber security awareness is compounded by a lack of training – 77% of respondents have been given no instruction in how to recognise ransomware, while 16% have had no cyber security training whatsoever and 13% just once.

“The public sector has seen significant developments since WannaCry but these findings suggest that there is still progress to be made,” said Alyn Hockey, VP of Product Management, Clearswift, a HelpSystems Company. “As we’ve seen the volume and variety of cyber-attacks increase, especially during the coronavirus lockdown period, it’s an on-going fight for the public sector to stay protected and constant and incremental improvements are the key to success. The right technology is important of course, but of equal value is ensuring that employees are fully aware of cyber security best practice and that the right processes are in place to mitigate the risk.”

  • The research reveals a lack of cyber security awareness among public sector workers, with almost half unaware of ransomware
  • Despite significant post-WannaCry progress, ransomware remains a key threat to local and central government
  • 77% of public sector workers have been given no instruction in how to recognise ransomware, seven in 10 say there is no cyber security expert in their organisation
  • Need for more awareness only heightened in light of increasing volume of Covid-19 related cyber-attacks

Educate your employees with Security Awareness Training – they need to be taught about targetted phishing attacks – regardless of whether this is via emails regarding fake domains or whether the theme is tax or flight refunds, COVID-19, an outstanding invoice, a package delivery, or any of a myriad of other stories told as above.

With thanks to Response Source and Clearswift. The full story is here:

The report is here:

Request A Demo: Security Awareness Training


New-school Security Awareness Training is critical to enabling you and your IT staff to connect with users and help them make the right security decisions all of the time. This isn’t a one and done deal, continuous training and simulated phishing are both needed to mobilise users as your last line of defence. Request your one-on-one demo of KnowBe4’s security awareness training and simulated phishing platform and see how easy it can be!

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