The UK is officially the most targeted nation for phishing attacks on businesses

Do you run or own a business in the UK? You may want to double-check your emails as the UK is officially the world’s most targeted nation for phishing attacks on businesses.

If that wasn’t worrying enough, the UK also holds the ignoble position of being the European country whose citizens are most likely to be targeted in a social media scam and ranks third globally.

The news comes from the latest annual Internet Security Threat Report, where the UK ranked number one in Europe and worldwide for phishing attacks. The report by Symantec, which examines global threat trends for the past year, also reveals that the UK ranks number three in both Europe and the world as a source of phishing attacks.

 But this doesn’t mean the UK is attacking itself or brimming with cyber criminals.

“Being a source doesn’t just mean that you’ve got criminals, it means actually that if you get infected then you might become a source spreading to other people,” Siân John, chief strategist for EMEA at Symantec, told IT Pro.

John explained that if you host a website and it becomes infected then that would also count as a source of malware.

“It’s as much about being a victim if you’re the top source as well,” she said.

So why are UK residents among the countries most targeted by cyber criminals? John explained that at least part of the reason is how much of day-to-day life is carried out online in this country.

“We do a lot of online shopping, we have a higher level of online banking, which means that your chances of success as a cyber criminal are higher.”

Turning to the issue of spearphishing, she added: “We have a lot of global organisations based out of the UK, a lot of organisations that transfer a lot of digital money, so I think it’s as much about the profile of the victim and the chance of success … than necessarily being more naive than others.”

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[Image: Ryosuke Hosoi – Flickr]

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