‘Digitally savvy’ millennials more likely to fall victim to cyber threats than baby boomers and older generations

New research from cybersecurity company Proofpoint reveals a lack of knowledge on cyber threats such as phishing and ransomware

Proofpoint’s annual ‘State of the Phish’ report reveals that 83% of global respondents experienced phishing attacks in 2018, compared to just 10% of respondents reporting experiencing a ransomware attack.

Furthermore, older generations are less likely to fall victim to cyberattacks than their younger counterparts. 73% of those aged 54+ know correctly what phishing is, compared to 58% of those aged 22-27. In addition, 52% of those aged 54+ know correctly what ransomware is compared to only 40% of those aged 22-37.

3% of those aged 54+ know correctly what phishing is, compared to 58% of those aged 22-27

Adenike Cosgrove, cybersecurity strategist, EMEA, Proofpoint, said: “Lack of cybersecurity awareness, in particular among the millennial/Generation Z demographic, presents a greater threat than many businesses expect. Our latest research shows that older generational groups can more accurately identify threats such as phishing and ransomware than digitally-savvy millennials. This tells us that millennials, despite being much more comfortable and at ease with digital platforms, display greater complacency towards threats and perceived risks.

“With the percentage of millennials in the workforce set to reach 50% globally by 2020, it’s imperative that businesses focus on developing a people-centric approach to security and deploy cybersecurity awareness training programs that aim to change employee behaviour. The bottom line is that organisations that do not consider the human factor as a key pillar to their cyberdefence strategy will continue to be prime targets for cybercriminals, putting their businesses at risk of potentially crippling attacks.”

To download the State of the Phish 2019 report, please visit: www.proofpoint.com/us/resources/threat-reports/state-of-phish