“One of the largest security industry misconceptions is that most cyberattacks target top executives and management,” said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of Cybersecurity Strategy for Proofpoint. “While these VIPs do receive attention from cybercriminals, our research and new Attack Index clearly demonstrate that very attacked people are often employees located deeper within an organization with access to systems and processes that attackers can target to extract value. We’ve developed the industry’s first people-centric Attack Index to help our customers identify their most targeted people, understand the spectrum of attacks targeting each employee, and create a tailored security approach to best protect each individual user.”
When observing an organization’s attack profile, security teams must balance the number of incoming threats with each threat’s severity. Users with the highest threat volume do not always represent the users that pose the most risk. Likewise, the lowest threat volume does not always equal the lowest risk as highly targeted threats are often more dangerous than widespread threat campaigns. Proofpoint’s Attack Index is a weighted composite score of all threats sent to an individual in an organization. It scores threats on a scale of 0-1,000 based on four key factors:
•Spread and focus of attack targeting
•Overall attack volume
For the first time, organizations can investigate the threats targeting their organization to better understand the risks users face based on their role, duties, and access. For example, roles with high levels of access are often targeted with credential theft while roles that manage sensitive data are frequently targeted with trojans and keyloggers. With this visibility and insight, security teams can tailor their security policies, solutions, and trainings to help mitigate their VAP risk and prioritize where and how to apply controls to protect those most at risk.
Proofpoint’s Attack Index also ranks individuals, groups and the overall organization, to provide security teams with the documentation necessary to discuss security and risk with their stakeholders. Its threat severity scoring system highlights the most severe threats targeting the organization and the most targeted users. With a people-centric lens, security teams can clearly indicate the need for enhanced security controls and security awareness training by identifying their most susceptible users that would directly benefit from increased protection.