Third of businesses are ‘losing clients’ due to incorrect emails

Almost a third – 29 per cent – of companies have lost a client or customers due to sending an email to the wrong person, according to research from Tessian.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 working professionals last January – half in the US and half in the UK – found that 40 per cent of respondents have sent work emails to the wrong person, while 39 per cent of employees have sent an email with the wrong attachment in the past 12 months.

The company claims that while the percentage of employees who have sent emails to the wrong person has declined by eight per cent since a report it did in 2020, the “consequences of making mistakes that compromise cybersecurity have become more severe”.

The report revealed that percentage of people who said their business lost a customer or client due to them sending an email to the wrong person went up from 20 per cent in 2020 to 29 per cent in 2021.

21 per cent of employees said they lost their job after making the error - up from 12 per cent reported in 2020.

“Rewards are far more effective than punishment,” said Josh Yavor, chief information security officer, Tessian. “If employees feel uncomfortable in reporting security mistakes, security teams will never have full visibility into these threats.

“So rather than scaring employees into compliance, encourage employees to engage with security by creating positive security experiences so that you can cement a partnership mindset between security teams and staff. Those positive incentives will help combat security nihilism and build strong security cultures.”

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