Human error is still considered the biggest cybersecurity risk to businesses, according to a new report by security company Mimecast

Mimecast found that over 70% of cyber breaches in 2023 were caused by human error. This included instances of stolen credentials or identity, social engineering and the misuse of access privileges. 

The report surveyed over 1,100 IT and cybersecurity professionals from around the world. 

While it found that IT teams continue to step up defences, email phishing attacks remained on the rise. 

With the growing adoption of generative AI, Mimecast’s report also found that IT professionals were concerned about the use of synthetic content in phishing emails. 

Around 69% of people surveyed stated that they expected their company to be harmed from AI-assisted phishing attacks. Looking forward, around 67% of respondents also expected AI-driven cyberattacks to become the new norm for businesses. 

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Mimecast CEO, Marc van Zadelhoff, emphasised the necessity for businesses to collaborate with their cybersecurity team. 

“Emerging tools and technologies like AI and deepfakes, along with the proliferation of collaboration platforms are changing the way threat actors work; but people remain the biggest barrier to protecting companies from cyber threats,” he said. 

“Cybersecurity and IT teams need to work with wider business leaders to prioritize understanding human risk. With the right tools and education, companies can better safeguard against threats and manage human risk,” stated van Zadelhoff. 

In a 2024 survey conducted by research and analysis company GlobalData, around 65% of companies stated that cybersecurity had already began to significantly disrupt their daily workflows. 

GlobalData’s 2023 thematic intelligence report into cybersecurity forecast that companies may soon need to increase their spending on cyber defences. Globally, it predicts that cybersecurity revenues could reach $344bn by 2030.